You are on page 1of 23

The Effects of Peer Pressure to the Habits and Practices

of Xavier University Senior High School Students

A Qualitative Research Paper

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Research

Submitted by:

Chan, Hannah

Cue, Phoebe Monique

Dacer, April Jane

Delos Reyes, Jomard Sam

Fabria, Kristiana Gloria

Gica, Kenneth

Gongob, Angel Mae

Guerrero, Fiona Francheska

Grade 11 - Becker

March 2018
Chapter I


Background of the Study

As students, we are always surrounded with people like our classmates who

become our friends later on. This friendship that we have are founded by the similarities

we have with them, may it be the taste of music you like, the type of movies you watch or

even the common practices that you do. We cannot deny the fact that these friendships

are built by these certain similarities.

Now, most of us might think that in order to become friends with someone we

must like what they like and hate what they hate. In other words, we try to fit in. This is

where peer pressure comes, which means to adopt a particular type of behavior, dress,

or attitude in order to be accepted as part of a group of your peers



As what we have observed, there have been cases and incidents of risky

behaviors inside/outside the school. The good/bad performance of students in school or

outside might be because of peer pressure that is caused by their desire to fit in with

their friends. In fact, a study states that peers contribute directly to the behaviors of

students. It is fortunate if their friends/peers influence them in a positive way such as

getting good grades because the group thinks that it is important. But it becomes a

problem if their peers are bad influences. The researchers want to discover and seek to

understand the effects of peer pressure to the habits and practices of students because
if teenagers are not able to resist this pressure they might be influenced in a negative


Theoretical Framework

Peer pressure, as stated by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as a feeling

that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order

to be liked or respected by them. In addition, Bursztyn, et. Al (2016) stated in their study

Cool to be Smart or Smart to be Cool? Understanding Peer Pressure in Education:

Most people care about their social image or how people

think of them. Such concerns are often highly pronounced
among adolescents, who may care deeply about establishing an
image or identity, whose behavior may accordingly be heavily
influenced by a desire to shape how they are viewed by their
peers (Bursztyn,, 2016).

Habits, according to Pickhardt (2012), are learned patterns of behaviour that, from

practice, become embedded in how we repeatedly function to conduct ourselves, take

care of ourselves, and to get things done. In fact, most of these habits are acted upon by

us unconsciously. Pickhardt (2012) states that:

Good habits are self-maintaining and even self-enhancing,

like when the teenager makes a habit of being industrious, of
exercising, or of planning ahead. Bad habits are self-defeating
and even self-destructive, like when the teenager makes a habit
of quitting, of cheating, or of lying.

This is very true, especially to young adolescents. Adding up to the factors of

forming good/bad habits or practices are the peers that is surrounding them. Peer

pressure can lead adolescents to form good habits/practices or forming bad ones.
Results of a study conducted by Tome, et. al (n.d) entitled How Can Peer Group

Influence the Behavior of Adolescents: Explanatory Model states that “peers have a

direct influence in adolescents’ risk behaviours… the negative influence of the peer

group is more connected to the involvement in risk behaviours, whilst the positive

influence is more connected with protective behaviours.”

Another study conducted by Bursztyn and Jensen (n.d.) concluded based on the

results that:

We find evidence that student effort and investments are

highly responsive to concerns about peer observability using
both a natural experiment that introduced a leaderboard that
revealed top performers, and a field experiment varying whether
the decision to sign up for a SAT prep course would be revealed
to classmates.

The same study also stated that they have found evidence “suggesting that the

result are driven by concerns over popularity and the possibility of facing social

sanctions or gaining social approval depending on effort or investments, or at least, a

desire to conform to prevailing social norms among peers in the classroom.”

Based on the discussions stated, peer pressure is one of the main factors affecting

the decision making, habits, and practices of adolescents. This pressure can either be

good or bad for them. Recognizing the effects of peer pressure to the habits and

practices of the adolescents, especially the senior high school students of Xavier

University, can help the school and other involved parties in formulating ways of how to

minimize its instances so that peer pressure would not become a reason for students to

do risky behaviors.
Statement of the Problem

The investigators seek to understand the effects of peer pressure to the habits

and practices of Xavier University Senior High School students. In this research, their

behavior is defined as their habits and practices that is affected by their ability to

conform to their peers. The results of the research study will be used as a basis for an

intervention program, recommendable to guidance counselors and moderators.

Central question:

1. What does it mean to be peer pressured?

2. How important is it for SHS students to fit in?

3. How does peer pressure affect the habits and practices of XUSHS?


1. How can we avoid peer pressure?

2. Do their actions change depend on their environment?

3. Are teenagers the only ones vulnerable to peer pressure?

4. What is something that SHS students often get pressured into doing?

5. Why is peer pressure hard for teenagers, like SHS students, to resist?

6. Is peer pressure a fact of life, or can it be eliminated?

Other questions:

1. How do SHS students cope with peer pressure?

2. What are the things that most teenagers are peer pressured about?

3. Do peer pressured students share their experiences with their:

a. parents

b. teachers?
c. guidance counselor?

d. other friends?

4. How does teachers and administrators react to this kind of issue?

Assumptions of the Study

This study is conducted in order to verify if the Senior High School students of

Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan are affected by peer pressure in terms of their

habits and practices. The following are the considered assumptions:

1. Peer pressure affects the Senior High School students’ in terms of the following:

1.1 Habits

1.2 Practices

2. There is a relationship between one’s relationships with peers and his/her habits

and practice.

Significance of the Study

The results of this study will be of great benefit to the following:

Xavier University Senior High School students. The results of the study will

provide them understanding of what peer pressure is and how it affects their habits and

practices, and their decision making. The information gathered will act as an awareness

to every student and will help them identify these situations in order to avoid being peer

pressured into a negative act.

Moderators. This study will provide information on the susceptibility of students

to be peer pressured to things that are not good for them, that can help teachers,
especially moderators on how they can help their students avoid being peer pressured.

Being knowledgeable helps you to be aware and able to act appropriately if the situation


Parents. The results of the study can help parents understand the behaviour of

their children. The study can also help them formulate strategies or advises to help their

children handle situations where they are being peer pressured.

Other researchers. This research can be used to formulate another study. Other

researchers can also use the information in this study as their related literature. The

study can also be replicated in order to validate the results gathered in this study.

Scope and Delimitation of the Study

This study seeks to describe the effects of peer pressure to the habits and

practices of Xavier University Senior High School.

In this study, habits and practices are defined as acquired behavior patterns

regularly followed which tends to occur subconsciously that are driven by their decisions.

Peer pressure is the social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain

action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted.

The study does not include other factors that may affect the students’ habits and

practices, it will only focus upon the effects of peer pressure. This study will not include

their academic performance as a contributing factor or an avenue that can also be

affected by peer pressure.

The participants considered in the study are the Grades 11 and 12 students of

Xavier University. This is because the researchers seek to gain answers from both
perspectives and to avoid bias. Moreover, this study includes both male and female as


A validated questionnaire will be used as an instrument to collect data for the

study, and a group discussion will also be conducted to clarify vague answers.

The factors that may affect the results of the study are: time period, access and

the limitations of the researchers. The study will be conducted upon a short period of

time, this might result to less quality work because of the limited time. In addition, the

researchers are students who are inexperienced and have limited access to information.

These are considered as limitations because these affects the quality and credibility of

the study.

Definition of Terms

Academic performance. This term refers to the extent to which a student, teacher or

Adolescent. This term is defined as one that is in the state of adolescence.

Anti-social. This is defined as contrary to the laws and customs of society; devoid of

or antagonistic to sociable instincts or practices.

Data gathering. This term is defined as the process of gathering and measuring

information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables

one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes.

Disruptive. This term means causing or tending to cause disruption.

Individual preference. This is defined as a way for an individual and/or. Their family

to take an active role and have more of a say in. choosing the service provider that best

meets their needs.

Interaction. This is a kind of action that occur as two or more objects have an effect

upon one another.

Interpersonal relationship. This is defined as a strong, deep, or close association or

acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to


Peer mediation. It is a process by which two or more students involved in a dispute

meet in a private, safe and confidential setting to work out problems with the assistance

of a trained student media.

Peer pressure. This term is defined as influence from members of one's peer group.

Institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goal.

Personal boundaries. These are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to

identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them

and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.

Phenomenological design. Refers to a study that attempts to understand people's

perceptions, perspectives and understandings of a particular situation (or phenomenon).

Self-defeating. This is defined as the state of being unable, because of its inherent

qualities, to achieve the end it is designed to bring about.

Self-destructive. This refers any behaviors that negatively impact our mind or body

by the life choices we make.

Self-enhancement. This is a type of motivation that works to make people feel good

about themselves and to maintain self-esteem.

Self-maintaining. This term refers to being selfish, selfless, self-denial

Sexual attitudes. This term is a process-oriented, structured group experience to

promote participants' awareness of their attitudes and values related to sexuality, and to

assist them in understanding how these attitude and values affect them professionally.

Substance abuse. This term is defined as overindulgence in or dependence on an

addictive substance, especially alcohol or drugs.

Social approval. This term refers to the positive evaluation of an individual or group

in a social context.

Social norms. This term refers to informal understandings that govern the behavior

of members of a society.

Social sanctions. These are spontaneous expressions by members of the group

acting as individuals or they may be organized.

Risk behavior. This term refers to behaviors that contribute to educational and social


Qualitative analysis. This term refers to securities analysis that uses subjective

judgment based on unquantifiable information, such as management expertise, industry

cycles, strength of research and development, and labor relations.

Chapter II



This study aims to determine the effects of peer pressure to the habits and practices

of Xavier University Senior High School students. The researchers seek to determine

the meaning of being peer pressured in the context of the students and relate it to how

they are affected by it. This study will not only help the students themselves but will also

provide understanding to the moderators and parents, and will also serve as a resource

for other researchers. However, there are limitations in which the study can cover, this

includes other factors that could affect the students habits and practices. These factors

will not be included in the study. Furthermore, the researchers continue to seek the

answers through these related studies.

Related Foreign Studies

On Adolescent Development. According to Kusumakar, Messervey & Santor

(2000), in their study entitled Measuring Peer Pressure, Popularity, and Conformity in

Adolescent Boys and Girls: Predicting School Performance, Sexual Attitudes, and

Substance Abuse, becoming a member of a peer group is one of the primary

developmental tasks of adolescences. Peer groups influence adolescent socialization

and identity by allowing young persons to explore individual interests and uncertainties

while retaining a sense of belonging and continuity within a group of friends. Although a

key aspect of normal adolescent development, there may be costs associated with

becoming a member of a group of people.

On Peer Pressure. Some have considered peer pressure the “price of group

membership”, which research has linked to a variety of potential problems, including

substance abuse, risk taking behavior and delinquency and as well as dating attitudes

and sexual behavior. Belonging to a group requires conformity to group interests and

desires, which may not be strictly a matter of individual preference. For many young

persons, substance use, risk-taking behavior and sexual behavior may represent efforts

to “conform the norms of the group and to demonstrate commitment and loyalty to other

group members”.

As stated by Brown & Clasen (1985) in the study The Multidimensionality of Peer

Pressure in Adolescence, peer pressure ― pressure to think or behave along certain

peer-prescribed guidelines ― is regarded as a prominent attribute of adolescence.

Peer-group relations form an integral component of adolescent socialization and

facilitate individual development of a sense of identity. Peer pressure is a primary

mechanism of transmitting group norms and maintaining loyalties among group

members. Yet because most studies of peer influences n adolescence have focused on

a single peer group or a specific attitude or behavior, information regarding peer

pressure remains fragmented. It is unclear whether or not teenagers perceive peer

pressures as impinging with equal intensity in all areas of their lives.

Moreover, as cited by Carden Smith LK & Fowler SA (1985) in the study Positive

Peer Pressure: The effects of peer monitoring on children's disruptive behavior

classroom peers can serve as powerful sources of reinforcement in increasing or

maintaining both the positive and negative behaviors of their classmates. In two

experiments, we examined the effectiveness of a peer-monitored token system on

reducing disruption and non-participation during a transition period of a kindergarten

class for behaviorally impaired children. Additionally, the effect of providing and

subsequently withholding corrective feedback to peer mediators on the accuracy of their

point awards was evaluated. Results in Experiment 1 suggest that both teacher-and

peer-monitored interventions were successful in decreasing disruption and increasing

participation of monitored peers. Experiment 2 further demonstrated that peer monitors

could successfully initiate the token system without prior adult implementation. Analysis

of the point awards in both experiments indicates that peer monitors consistently

awarded points that were earned. However, when corrective feedback was withdrawn

the peer monitors frequently awarded points that were not earned, i.e., they rarely

withheld points for undesirable behavior. Even so, the monitored peers' disruptive

behavior was maintained at low rates.

On Peer Groups. Nowadays, adolescents choose their close friends who

becomes their peers: The peer group becomes their second family. According to De

Guzman (2007),"Friendships are very much an important aspect of the teen years.

Understanding the nature of peer influence can help support youth as they enter in to

this period and follow the path towards close friendships that are hall marks of

adolescent... Friendships that emerge during adolescents tend to be more complex,

more exclusive and more consistent than during earlier childhood. New types (e.g.,

opposite sex, romanticist) and level (e.g., best friends, cliques and "crowds”) of

relationships emerge, and teens begin to develop the capacity for very close, imitate and

deep friendship". Sometimes, they considered that friends are helpful to their studies; in

some aspects of being comfort, easy and accepted.

This peer group becomes the source and key for their social interactions and

social communication. Peer group is also the major factor that may affect the

adolescent's behavior. Generally, students can observe that they have their own peer

group inside or outside of their school (public or private). As observed in most schools,

students are being influenced to go with their peers and spend more time with them

rather than their parents, and tend to have less adult supervision.

According to Johnson (2000),"Because of the sheer amount of time typically

adolescents spends each day with his or her friends, the peer influence on a child can

be substantial." Peers have a direct influence to every adolescent, which make them a

model for each member. Students are being encouraged to follow them and to be

accepted by them. This desire to be accepted will be a great source of motivation for

students to imitate and to choose to do something that wouldn't do otherwise. It may be

good or bad, acceptable or not which may affect not only their own personal life but also

their academic performance. Somehow, students are pressured with the things that they

do to their peers, even if it against their will. They try to do things they wouldn't be

interested in such as smoking or taking part in anti-social behavior.

Peer group is a great mechanism of pressure. According to Thomas (1967),

“Groups can affect each member both passively, that is, without regard to the

awareness of the members. And actively, that is, with regard to the intentions of its

member. Through its passive power, a group influence its members by facilitation, by

which the performance of their member is affected by mere presence of their other

member through spectoration and observation, by role modeling and imitation. And in its
active power, they can influence such members through obeying their group policy and

their daily routine.

Peers can influence adolescents in a positive and in a negative way. Peer

influence can be positive: for example you might be influence to get more involve in

doing good things; such as joining in a bible study group: cell group. But somehow,

adolescents are more likely to be influenced in negative ways, in the same way that

there are more bad influence peers than good ones.

Peer groups influence social and academic developments, and that these

influences begin at the very start of formal education. Influences and motivations for all

kinds of adolescent behavior, including study habits and personal academic

development, come mostly from their peers to whom they come into close contact.

Such situation motivate the researchers to conduct the study of the impact of

peer pressure on academic performance. The behavior of every students that is

preceded by an intention to behave in a particular attitude and social influences, e.g.

peer pressure (Ajzen and Fishbein 1970). And how would this kind of feelings and

behavior will affects students’ academic performance in this new curriculum.

Related Local Studies

Teenagers, most specifically senior high school students are currently in the

stage wherein feelings of confusion and insecurities arises and are concerned about

how to fit in to society. It is also during this stage that teens’ behavior is often

unpredictable and impulsive as they are going through a process of finding a sense of

identity, and by this process, they rely to the people around them, the people whom they
got to spend time especially at school – their peers. Peer influences and interactions are

candidates and are also factors that are important in an adolescent’s behavior and their

academic performances.

Allen, Porter, McFarland, Marsh, and McElhaney (2005) report that adolescents

who were well-liked by many peers displayed higher levels of ego development and

secure attachment. Reis and McCoach (2000) report that peer issues may also

contribute to the achievement and underachievement of adolescents. Peer relationships

have a great pull to adolescent behavior; high-achieving peers had a positive effect in

influencing students who are not doing well at school. Likewise, negative peer attitudes

often have a negative effect since it influences students in a bad way. These findings

show that there is a correlation between a student’s achievement and the achievement

of his or her peers.

According to Howard (2004), adolescents have always been exposed to peer

influence, but the kinds of peer influence that they encounter have changed

tremendously in the past years. Peers can influence everything, from the clothes

adolescent chooses to wear to the activities that they get their selves into, whether it

helps in enhancing one’s capabilities and skills or doing delinquent behavior. Indeed,

peer pressure represents an important reason why people engage in delinquent or risky

behavior (Simons-Morton et al., 2005). It is accepted that the main reason people

engage in such delinquency is to impress their friends (Moffitt, 1993). That is why

choosing friends is a serious case to take.

But, with all these researches happened internationally and locally, most of it didn’t have

an effect to change any or something in the society to solve this issue. As McArthur
(1977) said, “various studies have shown that adolescent behavior usually become

more focused around interpersonal relations with peers as youth begin to broaden their

horizons and to seek a wider range of relevant others outside their family and kin unit.

However, relatively little attention has been directed towards understanding the various

types of adolescent peer groups that emerge and the roles they play in shaping an

individual’s mind and behavior for participation in adult life.”


Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1974). Retrieved March 24, 2018, from

Bursztyn, L., & Jensen, R. (2015, August). How does peer pressure affect educational
investments?. The Quarterly Journal of Academics. 130(3). 1329-1367.

Carden, S., & Fowler, S. A. (1984). Positive peer pressure: the effects of peer monitoring
on children’s disruptive behavior. 17(2). 213-27.

Clasen, D. R., & Brown, B. B. (1985, March). The multidimensionality of peer pressure in
adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 14(6). 451-68.

De Guzman, M. R. T. (2007, July). Friendships, peer influence and peer pressure during
the teen years. NebGuide.

Johnson, K. A. (2000, May). The peer effect on academic achievement among public
elementary school students. A report of the Heritage center for data analysis.

Magbanua, J. (2016, April 22). Peer pressure. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from

McArthur, H. (1977, December). Adolescent peer groups and socialization in the rural
philippines: A socio ecological perspective. Retrieved March 25, 2018, from

Peer Pressure. (2016, January 26). Retrieved March 25, 2018, from

Peer Pressure Affects Academic Performance of Second Year Students. (2012, June 5).
Retrieved March 5, 2018, from

Pickhardt, C. E., (2012). Adolescence and the development of habits. Retrieved March
24, 2018, from

Santor, D. A., Messervey, D., Kusumakar, V. (April, 2000). Measuring peer pressure,
popularity, and conformity in adloscent boys and girls: predicting school
performance, sexual attitudes, and substance abuse. Journal of Youth and
Adolescence. 2(29). 163-182.
Tome, G., et. al. (n.d.). How Can Peer Group Influence the Behavior of Adolescents:
Explanatory Model. Retrieved March 22, 2018, from
Chapter III



This study aims to determine the effects of peer pressure to the habits and practices

of Xavier University Senior High School students. The researchers seek to determine

the meaning of being peer pressured in the context of the students and relate it to how

they are affected by it, as stated in the statement of the problem. This study will not only

help the students themselves but will also provide understanding to the moderators and

parents, and will also serve as a resource for other researchers. However, there are

limitations in which the study can cover, this includes other factors that could affect the

students habits and practices. These factors will not be included in the study.

Furthermore, the researchers utilized related studies and literature in order to

understand these factors. These studies will also serve as a support on the findings of

the study. In fact, these studies’ variables are closely related, if not the same, to the

variables being studied.

Research Design

A researcher wants to explore the effects of peer pressure of senior high school

students in their habits and practices. The effects includes personal experiences of the

subject: weakened control, resistance against pressure to conform, fear of rejection and

abuse, confused identity, the setting of personal boundaries and other effects that may

put the subject’s life to risk. The goal of this qualitative research is to define an

experience the subject is facing. Due to the nature of the study, the researcher decides
to use phenomenological study design, as this is a qualitative analysis of narrative data,

the researcher is focused on the meaning of experience, behavior, involvement,

knowledge and practices. The researcher will conduct a survey to the respondents and

a focus group discussion will be followed in order to clarify and verify the questions in

the survey conducted.

Research Setting

The research and observation is to be conducted at Xavier University – Ateneo

de Cagayan, Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City. It is the main campus of the

university where the Senior High School students are homed that is why this is the

setting chosen for the study. The participants of the study are the Grades 11 and 12

students of Xavier University Senior High School. A random sample will be selected in

order to avoid bias. This study will focus upon the effects of peer pressure to the habits

and practices of the SHS including their decision making process. The study does not

include any other factors affecting their behavior.

Respondents of the Study

The respondents of the study are the Senior High School students of Xavier

University - Ateneo de Cagayan. The students have varied educational preferences and

has chosen strands which will help them decide and develop skill on the courses they

will take up in college, the following strands are ABM, TVL, GAS, STEM and HUMSS.

These students are composed of grade 11 and grade 12 students with ages ranging

from 14 – 20 years old. Due to the sudden change of the grading system, the students
are under pressure and has a higher risk of having their habits and practices affected by

peers. With ages ranging from 14 – 20 years old, usually the younger ones are mostly

affected by those who are superior to them which will then lead to being influenced with

that persons’ belief and behaviour. According to an article written by Nyamosi Zachariah

at, “Adolescents develop a strong desire to fit in with their peers and be

accepted by them”. That statement emphasizes clearly the reasons why the SHS

students’ habits and practices can be greatly affected by their peers. The researchers

seek to determine these effects that are caused by peer pressure with the students of

this institution.

Instrument of the Study

The researchers will construct a qualitative survey questionnaire that would ask

questions leading to acquiring information of the effects of peer pressure towards the

habits and practices of Senior High School students in Xavier University. A survey

questionnaire would make sense since there are a lot of senior high school students in

Xavier University and we cannot interview all of them. The survey questionnaire would

include all types of questions that will be formulated beforehand, in order to acquire all

the needed information.

Data Collection Procedures

To know the effect of peer pressure towards the habits and practices of Senior High

School students in Xavier University, we would distribute qualitative survey

questionnaires to Senior High School students around the campus. We seek to find the
answers of our research study through the data gathered in the survey and focus group

discussion to be conducted. In order to achieve this goal, the survey questionnaires

should be validated beforehand. The questions that will be asked should be able to elicit

the necessary information and should use the valid scale. The researchers will make

sure that these factors will be closely monitored. In addition, the instrument used could

only be reliable to acquire the needed information if it is valid. The survey questionnaire

should be arranged properly in a simple format in order to avoid confusion and to make

it convenient for the respondents. The results should be consistent in order to say it is

reliable and valid.

The researchers will gather raw data through a survey that will be conducted. After

being able to gather and collect enough information, these data will be utilized in

drawing a conclusion of the study. The data will be described through the measures of

central tendencies such as the mean, median, and mode. The researchers, through this,

will be able to determine how the data are concentrated.

The term “statistical treatment” means to apply any statistical method to your data.

Descriptive statistic will be conducted in order to describe what the data shows: a trend,

a specific feature, or a certain statistic. The statistic will be shown through a graph. On

the other hand, inferential statistics will also be conducted to make predictions based on

the gathered data.