--Original published at Lynsey Wissler's Blog

Peer pressure is a common thing, even if most do not think so. As much as people would like to hope, it is not avoidable. In today’s world, there are many things which drive children, teens, and adults to do something which they are not comfortable. But what isn’t However, what is commonly overlooked is how to resist this inevitable thing which will at one point or another cross every teenager’s path.

When researching how to avoid peer pressure amongst children, has several suggestions. They suggest the saying “no” approach, even when it isn’t the easiest thing to do. This website also suggests surrounding yourself with people who have similar views and morals as you so that you have someone to back you up in a time where it could be challenging to say “no”. Lastly, this website suggests that if kids are struggling with peer pressure, that they find someone that they can trust to talk to and discuss what is happening with. It is much easier to go through something when you’re not alone. Overall, I think that this website did a good job in suggesting ideas, however, I feel that these ideas are all much easier said than done and do not do a good job in illustrating how young kids can stay away from peer pressure.

NIDA for teens gives, in my opinion, an excellent approach to avoiding peer pressure. It first suggests offering to be the designated driver for your friends. Personally, I feel that this is an excellent option and “excuse” for your friends on why you are not participating in the activities with them. It is also suggested that you blame your “no” on an outside source. For instance, a sports team, your plans with your parents tomorrow, babysitting etc. Another tip which I think would be very helpful would be to carry a bottled drink with you to parties so that people are not as likely to offer you a drink. Finally, the website suggests “when all else fails, blame your parents”. My parents personally always suggested this to me and when the time, it worked very effectively. Overall, this website did an excellent job discussing suggestions for teens.

Like I previously mentioned, my parents had a role in helping me to avoid peer pressure.  New Beginnings gives several other ways which parents can help their children avoid peer pressure. First, they suggest for the parents to understand what is happening in the situation with the children. I personally think that this is essential when giving a good suggestion to your kids. They also suggest for the parents to do role-playing as they prepare their children for possibilities. Lastly, they give suggestions for parents to understand the different types of peer pressure; digital, verbal, written and physical. These suggestions I feel are all beneficial to kids.

Personally, I think that something that can help and is very important is to have a sense of yourself and an understanding of who you are. This relates back to psychology when it comes to moral decision making. How and why you do what you do is important when making decisions and this relates directly back to psych. Self-Efficacy is another way in which our class can relate to peer pressure. Having a belief in your own abilities can help you to believe that you will be able to resist the peer pressure and make your own decision.

All in all, peer pressure is a very prevalent thing for all ages…teens, children, and parents. There are many good ways in which someone can avoid peer pressure and make the right decision once some research is done and action is taken on the best ways.

Spotlight Post #3: Peer pressure

--Original published at MentzersBlog

Peer pressure is something may people deal with everyday, some good and some bad. Many schools sped lots of time teaching kids to do thats right, but what are the right steps for not giving in to peer pressure?

One the first website they are reaching out to children and little kids with a five step method of avoiding peer pressure. The first step they have them do is take a deep breathe and clam down. Secondly they have you find your words to speak up for yourself. Thank it through the consequences is the third step. The forth step they have down is that you should suggest another activity or thing to do. Lastly they have you just walk away. These methods are generally good and are easy for children to follow. Taking a deep breathe is big to me because the more clam yo are the better you will do. Another good method they had down was suggesting something else which is very good at working.

The next website focuses more on teenagers. They talk about things you can say. The website first expressed that you candy NO. When saying these things be firm about it but not aggressive. Stand up tall when speaking and all them how you feel about the situation. Just like the first website the last thing you candy is walk away. These methods seem to be good but it is hard for a teenager to stand up against the group, and express how they feel. So this may be effective it won’t work if the child is shy.

The last website focuses on young adults on avoiding peer pressure. The steps they first start out by thinking your yourself ” Am I okay with this.” The website also wants you to have a close friend with you that will back you up. Just like the other websites it wants you to say NO when feeling uncomfortable and peer pressured. If they are pressuring you to do bad things, they are not your friends and you need to walk away. Not only that, if you see someone being pressured stick up for them. Lastly the website says that you can not please everyone so do what is right. These methods of peer pressure have you stop and think if this is right, and thinking if you are comfortable with these actions. Also they bring a good point about bringing your close friend to be there for you.

Overall fund these websites helpful for anyone who is peer pressured a lot. It can be stressful in the situation but you just ned o remember what you were taught. In my town we learned a lot about peer pressure and emphasized these methods on what to do when facing problamatming situations.



Spotlight Blog 3

--Original published at Site Title

Peer pressure is something we’re warned about early in life, but it doesn’t translate exactly the way we’re prepared for. Oftentimes, kids are told by adults that peer pressure will manifest itself in the form of a friend telling you directly to misbehave. In the D.A.R.E. program, you’re trained to recall the proper responses to these encounters, such as “let’s play a game instead.” You quickly realize, perhaps through trial and error, that this kind of training is completely ineffective.

Since my own introduction to dealing with peer pressure was somewhat traditional, I was interested in what tips and information are available about it today. I first looked at, which has been available for many years to give information to kids, teens, and parents. Their article “Dealing with Peer Pressure,” which is completely geared towards a child audience, starts off with a pretty innocent example of peer pressure: you’re being tempted by your coolest classmate to skip math class and get lunch instead. This scenario isn’t quite as extreme today, but perhaps at the time this article was written it was. Regardless, this opening set the tone for the rest of the article. The strategies offered by lead to the same ineffective, unrealistic idea–only associate with kids who don’t act out, and if your friends begin to misbehave, cut them off immediately. The one good tip in the article is to find a friend to join you in resisting peer pressure and it will be easier to do. This relates back to the experiment we observed in class, in which a participant answering multiple choice questions about line length felt more confident about deviating from the crowd when he was given a partner.

Another article I looked at was directed at teen readers. WebMD published an article about how teens in particular should deal with peer pressure, as that’s a major time for young people to explore new things. The article gives several scenarios about trying alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and having sex with a girlfriend or boyfriend, all of which sound way more severe to the writer than to most American teenagers, so it’s difficult to level with. There is one good tip in the article, which is to always assess the risks of whatever activity the opportunity includes. For instance, if you’re likely going to be arrested or at the very least damage a long-term relationship with someone like a parent, it may be best to avoid that behavior.

The last article I looked at was for parents, and it was exceptional. One of the most important tips in this article was to avoid calling your kids any kind of judgemental name in response to an activity they’ve done that you’re displeased with. The result of this is your child feeling emotionally damaged since their parent has just negatively labeled their character according to their actions; this is a very condemning format of communication with teenagers. Instead, the article recommends taking cell phones, as that is a better method of punishment than name-calling. Whereas verbal agression is only damaging, negative punishment like taking away privileges from teens will be more effective in preventing the behavior you want your child to stop.

The reality of being young today is that most kids bond over drug use, drinking, and partying; if you develop close relationships with people who already do this, you’re likely to get dragged this kind of activity so as to preserve your connection to the person, or you may lose that friendship altogether. What parents and teachers need to understand about peer pressure is that it’s not easy to recognize right away, and refusing to succumb to peer pressure can end up causing damage to a young person’s social life due to the connections they will lose. When your environment is full of illicit activity, avoiding it and trying to go your own way will ultimately lead to social isolation. I believe that the biggest part of successfully growing up and accepting this kind of environment is to not judge people based on their actions, but by the way you know them as a person. People go through different habits throughout life stages, and those habits shouldn’t change your mind about that person’s character, especially if it’s your child. That being said, it’s important to make your own choices and always assess risk, as any one of your decisions can change your life drastically.



Spotlight 3 Prompt 3

--Original published at Kevin Psych Blog


Most of the articles I found on the benefits of pyschotherapy over medication tended to have a very similar overarching theme; pyschotherapy is more effective in the long run. While medication can help short term, it isn’t going to get rid of the problem, it will push it under the radar (so to speak) for the duration of the medications effects. According to the washington post article, however, it would be best used for people with chronic mental illness who have been struggling for a long time. In the article by the APA, they stated that psychotherapy tends to have fewer relapses than medication, I think predictably as like I said, medications aren’t going to stay in the system forever. On the downside is the amount of time it takes, medications will give instant but short lived gratification, therapy is going to take a long time to take effect, but in the long run it has been shown to do the most good for people struggling with mental disorders. I definitely trust these sources, the APA being an authority on psychology, I should hope would be trustworthy. The Washington Post I also believe to be a reliable source, they are a well respected company with a reputation to keep, and to spread misinformation would harm that.



According to this article a study was done to test the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication in patients with depression of varying severity. The conclusion it came to is that, depending on a patients “brain state”, the person will either benefit from therapy or medication, but not much from the other. Either way it definitely demonstrated that medication has the potential to be a much more potent solution to depression in some cases.

The most important bit of information I saw in this article was the claim that medication is essentially necessary for the more severe forms of things like depression. It was conceded that therapy might be helpful for mild problems, but it would hardly be effective in worse cases.


My Opinion: I can easily say therapy is going to be the better choice in most cases. Finding reliable articles that were for medication was near impossible, most searches I did found me articles arguing against medication, and showing therapy becoming more and more popular due to all the side effects of medication and the possible inconsistency of it. My view is that slow and steady wins the race, therapy might take a lot longer than medication but the effects seem to be more permanent, with less risk of relapse which is a fair trade to me.

Spotlight Blog 3

--Original published at Site Title

I focused on three situations in which peer pressure is involved in this blog.  I zoned in on adult peer pressure, teen peer pressure, and peer pressure around drugs and alcohol. As we have learned from our studies in class it isn’t so easy to go against the norm of society, especially when everyone around you seems to be participating in a particular event. Although many may behave a particular way when alone, an audience changes the performance or acts of an individual. The presence of others tends to generally increase the most likely outcome, so how do we say “no” to peer pressure?

An article from Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center website offers ways in which adults can handle peer pressure in their daily lives. The main point they emphasized is that resisting pressure is essential for improving your own self esteem and coming to terms with the life you are living. The key idea is to be true to yourself and to reconfirm your core values. Being assertive and making a wide range of friends is important.  I agree with this wide range of friends idea, that way if one group is doing something you don’t agree with you can find allies to side with you in saying its wrong. Surrounding yourself with those who seek the same values as yourself and learning from mistakes you were previously pressured into can help you handle peer pressure in the future. This article didn’t account for if an adult lives in a individualist or collectivist culture.  If a job calls for group harmony or your lifestyle, you may conform easier. Individuals in an environment where being uniform is important may experience informational influence, in which they assume their answer  is wrong and that of the group is right. Being under a boss that is telling you to do something because they have power over you and are assertive, can make you feel uncomfortable telling them you don’t agree, and therefore you conform.

Teens conforming to peer pressure has always been an underlying issue in society. Especially at an age that is sensitive to how others view them because they are still trying to figure out themselves. Social facilitation enables a teen to act differently around a certain group I believe best explained by Zajonc as the Drive theory.  This theory is that being around others increases arousal in an individual making them want to impress or show off to their friends. The article addressing this topic suggests to come up with a better idea when presented with a task you don’t feel comfortable partaking in. It also suggests walking away, saying no, and coming up with excuses.  This article did not seem very helpful to me.  It’s one thing to teach right from wrong but harder to not do the “wrong” thing.  When a task is easy to do, it’s much easier for a teen to get their friend to complete it even if previously the friend never thought of doing such.  If the majority of your friends are doing something and your the only one not, your most likely going to change your behavior and mind. No one likes to be singled out or feel like the odd ball in the group.

The National Institute for Health article presents ways to resist the peer pressure around drugs and alcohol. The first tip given was to offer to be a designated driver which avoids you from taking drugs and keeps you on your friends good side, by getting them home safely. The article suggests that you tell your friends you have to keep your body healthy for maximum performance. It continues by mainly suggesting to create excuses for yourself to not do a particular activity your friends are doing. They say to blame not drinking or doing drugs to having strict parents that will check when you get home.  Finally, the writing suggests that when all else fails leave, because if they were truly your friends they wouldn’t consistently pressure you. I think the accuracy of these strategies would largely depend on the size of the group participating in these illegal activities and pressuring you to do them.  An individual can still experience normative influence in which he/she doesn’t want to go against the group, not because he/she believes it is right but because they don’t want to stick out.  When surrounded by friends especially those that we want to please it is hard to say no.  Coming up with excuses not to do something doesn’t work every time and eventually your friends will catch on.

1st Impression Post- Mental Health Treatment

--Original published at alanaspsy105blog

For this week’s first impression post I chose to do option two which looked at Michelle Obama’s mental health awareness campaign. The webpage has a really nice design and plenty of options to choose from, but as far as its effectiveness, I am not too sure. Yeah, its nice to have websites like these out there, and yeah it may be helpful for some, but a lot of people that have mental health problems do not want to admit they need help. So the people that really need the help most likely will not go looking for this webpage to find it. They will most likely go to people they care about. I do not think this campaign is bad; I think there should definitely be more awareness about mental health because there shouldn’t be a stigma around it like there is now. If the campaign helps one person who is in need of help, then I think that it should be a campaign worth keeping. It shows different ways that people are reaching out to bring awareness, and it has a page that is devoted to people pledging to know the five signs of emotional suffering and to change the culture surrounding mental health, mental illness, and wellness. You can make the pledge as just a single person or you can sign it with more people as part of a group. Overall, I think it is a good start for the campaign, but I think they have a lot more to do to bring awareness to many more people.

First Impression: Mental Health Treatment

--Original published at Site Title

The Change Direction campaign will be effective so long as its principles are shared with students by schools, classes, and youth organizations. I think the benefit of these resources can only be had if there is effort put into getting its message to young people. In the “about” section of the campaign site, it says that many private sector companies and nonprofits are sharing this information about mental health, to reduce the stigma surrounding it. A strength of the program is that it discusses the “5 Signs” of emotional suffering: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, decline in personal care, and hopelessness. These are all important markers to look out for, as these changes from what is deemed normal behavior can actually indicate a serious emotional issue, even we react passively to them. What it would take for the campaign to be effective would be if it is able to make this information known to young people so that they will remember these things when they start to notice change in themselves or in others. Another strength to the campaign is that it has the support of major companies associated with health, social work, and psychology.

The difficulty in successfully implementing the Change Direction initiative is getting students to listen. I believe at the high school level and below it will be very hard to get a good response from students. At the college level, I believe it would be far better received, as every college student is bound to be under incredible stress, whether it’s because they’re away from home, struggling to make friends, or crumbling under immensely challenging coursework. At Elizabethtown, I strongly believe an awareness campaign would be taken seriously by students and publicized well. To go about this, I think flyers are the simplest way of reaching students. However, I think the most profound method would be for professors to bring up things like mental health and the 5 Signs to students, as they are mostly already inclined to give their professor their full attention. Most of all, I think it’s important to stress the availability of Etown’s counseling services. Etown has great resources for anyone struggling with mental health or anyone trying to help a friend.

Week 15 First Impression: Option 2

--Original published at Site Title

At all points in life, you can never really know what someone is going through or dealing with. Mental illness can be sneaky like that. Someone seems fine on the outside but is really struggling on the inside. Thankfully, there are many organizations working to help people with mental illnesses get healthy again. One of those is Change Direction, a campaign supported by Michelle Obama. Their website shows some ways for people to keep good mental health, signs that someone may have a mental illness, what to do if someone is suffering, and some public service announcement videos. I think the campaign has a good chance to be successful. They give out clear, easy to follow steps for people to take in order to improve their mental health. They explain possible signs of a mental illness really well. In my opinion, the most important information they give are the ways to help those dealing with mental illness. A really close friend of mine at home was dealing with mental illness at one point. Along with the feeling of worry about my friend, there was this other feeling of having no idea what to do. They’re better now but at the time it was an awful feeling. Those tips would have gone a long way. I think the only real weakness of the campaign is that a lot of this is done on your own. I could see people checking in on themselves or others and just saying, “Oh, I’m fine” or “Oh, they’re fine” because they might be afraid of what it means if everything is not okay. Some college students will pay attention to this and some won’t. A lot of times, students just try to push through until they get a mental break. It’s not really healthy at all but with everything else you need to do in college it gets the job done. I think if Etown was to do a mental health campaign, they should model it after Change Direction. It would help the people who really need it.

First Impression- Mental Health Treatment

--Original published at Caitlin's corner

I chose option 1 for my last first impression post.

Our psychology textbook lists the four major types of psychotherapy; psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and humanistic. I will be ranking these according to how helpful I think they would be to me, one being the best and four being the least helpful and why/why not.

  1. Cognitive psychotherapy is based on the cognitive model, which states that thoughts, feelings and behavior are all connected, and that individuals can move toward overcoming difficulties and meeting their goals by identifying and changing unhelpful or inaccurate thinking, problematic behavior, and distressing emotional responses. This involves the individual working collaboratively with the therapist to develop skills for testing and modifying beliefs, identifying distorted thinking, relating to others in different ways, and changing behaviors. A tailored cognitive case conceptualization is developed by the cognitive therapist as a roadmap to understand the individual’s internal reality, select appropriate interventions and identify areas of distress.

I think this form of therapy would be best for me since I personally believe that if you don’t change anything or identify what’s causing you distress and make appropriate changes to avoid it, you can’t expect to feel or do anything differently. You have to identify problems and work on ways to work past them that are specific to you. Just talk can be productive and help with introspection, but I feel like labeling things as being problematic or the cause of your problems, you can more easily make changes to avoid those feelings or stop them completely.

2. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a form of depth psychology, the primary focus of which is to reveal the unconscious content of a client’s psyche in an effort to alleviate psychic tension.

In this way, it is similar to psychoanalysis. It also relies on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist more than other forms of in-depth psychology. In terms of approach, this form of therapy uses psychoanalysis adapted to a less intensive style of working, usually at a frequency of once or twice per week. This seems like it would be a good fit for me and I actually do currently go to talk therapy. Since I rely highly on friends and family to be able to vent to. Just getting it out there and talking about it really helps me put things into perspective and work it out on my own, obviously with a game plan my counselor and I make for myself.

3. Humanistic psychotherapy is primarily the type of therapy that encourages a self-awareness and mindfulness which then helps the client change their state of mind and behavior from one set of reactions to a healthier one with more productive self-awareness and thoughtful actions. Essentially, this approach allows the merging of mindfulness and behavioral therapy, with positive social support.

I really like the sound of this therapy, but honestly with my anxiety and depression, it can be so hard to change my state of mind. I feel so stuck sometimes or like it’s just not going to get better so this might not totally work in the long-run for me. It could potentially help my self-esteem and self-efficacy, but I feel like I need something that focuses on my environment and my interactions with it, more than my views and thoughts of myself. Although, I do see benefits to having a good view of myself. Self love is very important so you can love other’s, but it wouldn’t totally help me to fix my problems, I think.

4. Behavioral psychotherapy has a rich tradition in research and practice. From a purely behavioral perspective, behavior therapy has shown considerable success with clients from a variety of problems. Traditional behavior therapy draws from respondent conditioning and operant conditioning to solve client problems.

Honestly, depending on the problem this could work wonders for people who have behavior or personality issues, but for me and my anxiety/depression I don’t know if it would be a good fit. It could me get past my anxiety by putting me in situations that trigger it, but again, that could ultimately make it worse and have the opposite effect of trying to get comfortable in the situation, whatever it may be


First Impression Week 15 Prompt 1

--Original published at Kevin Psych Blog

  1. Behavioral: This form of therapy definitely has the best chance of fixing someones more immediate problems, I think. Its strength lies in how it chips away at a negative behavior through scientifically proven methods such as conditioning. It might be a slower process but in the end I believe you would see the best results. However my concern is that someone would need to know why they act the way they do for this to work, and there are definitely cases in which you would need to dig for that information, leading me to believe that a combination of behavioral and psychodynamic therapy in which you bring up the problem through psychodynamics and deal with the outcome of the problem through behavioral therapy would be the most useful. In other words, behavioral therapy has the potential to become worthless to some patients without assistance from other forms.
  2. Cognitive: My favorite aspect of cognitive therapy is how a therapist would act as a kind of guide for someone to help them dig themselves out of a rut, without being too distant (like what I see with humanistic therapy, in which it seems like they just hope people will come to accept their problems and move on). Like the book said, we think in words, and changing the way we think about the world, the effects of things that happen to us, I can imagine would be a big help in convincing yourself that you aren’t completely doomed. The biggest problem I could see with this is if someone is stubborn and refuses to change their thinking. There are a lot of stubborn people in the world and unless someone is willing and open to changing their world view, this form of therapy would be wasted on them.
  3. Psychodynamics: I think that this has the potential to be extremely helpful to people with a broad range of issues, maybe not even necessarily diagnosed illnesses. When the issue isn’t chemical it seems like it often comes from unaddressed underlying issues a person has and this form of therapy is targeted at bringing out those issues, making a patient aware of them, thereby allowing them to deal with whatever is causing the problems. I think this form of therapy fails when you deal with someone who’s problems are simply biological, but for the type of person it’s meant for I believe it would be very helpful.
  4. Humanistic: This approach to therapy might be good for making a person more comfortable with themselves, but I don’t see it going far beyond that. That isn’t necessarily a problem, if that’s what someone wants then I think this would be a fantastic choice, it creates an open and accepting environment where a person can express themselves freely, but it doesn’t seem like it’s capable of really addressing a persons problems and helping them fix themselves. I know that if I was looking for therapy I would want to try to eradicate the problems at the root of my behavior, not become comfortable with my thoughts and actions.