Author

White

Date of Award

6-2001

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Van Valey

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Kramer

Third Advisor

Dr. Douglas D. Davidson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Paul Wienir

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of peer pressure upon eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade use of alcohol and other drugs. Data related to the use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana were analyzed to determine the effect that peer pressure has on the use of these substances. Other relationships considered were sex, grade level, and race, based on the literature in this area.

The data that were chosen for this study included 141 Michigan public school districts and were based on the responses of 16,760 students in 1992-93, and 15,283 students in 1994-95.

The results indicate that peer pressure to use drugs, cigarettes, and marijuana moreso than alcohol, had a definite impact on high school drug use for these grades. According to Sutherland (1947) and Akers (1998) premise that peers influence behavior, there is a definite connection between the influence of associations on the behaviors we choose to engage in. The findings have supported the premise that in a adolescents' approach to learning they do so in the context of others and that these influences, by peers, as a normal socializing force affect drug use behavior.

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Sociology Commons

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