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Results showed that just knowing friends were watching activated brain regions linked with reward, especially when the teen drivers made risky decisions.
Taking control of your choices So, be aware: The desire to impress your friends may override your fear of taking risks.
Some teens harbor secret lives governed by the influence of their peers.
Some — including those who appear to be well-behaved, high-achieving teens when they are with adults — engage in negative, even dangerous behavior when with their peers.
New research shows that, when making a decision, teens think about both the risks and rewards of their actions and behaviors—but, unlike adults, teens are more likely to ignore the risk in favor of the reward.
In a NIDA-funded study, teens driving with their friends in the car were more likely to take risks—like speeding through yellow lights—if they knew that two or more of their friends were watching.
It is important to encourage friendships among teens.
We all want our children to be with persons who will have a positive influence, and stay away from persons who will encourage or engage in harmful, destructive, immoral, or illegal activities.
Tell us: When you already know the risks, yet you want to impress your friends, do you run the light or slow down and stop? Do you go with the crowd or be your own person and impress others with your individuality?
Once influenced, teens may continue the slide into problems with the law, substance abuse, school problems, authority defiance, gang involvement, etc.