Development and evaluation of a psychological well–being programme for university students in Tanzania
The aim of this study was to investigate and describe the description of negative peer pressure by grade nine learners. The study took place within the context of adolescence, which is often described as a phase where negative peer pressure plays a significant role in the lives of adolescents. A literature study on the topic showed that peer pressure is a complex phenomenon that is experienced by all adolescents at some point. Literature also indicated that the voice of adolescents regarding their own unique and subjective description of negative peer pressure has not been recorded often enough. It became evident that especially grade nine learners are vulnerable to negative peer pressure. This grade or age group forms part of the middle adolescent phase, which is especially characterised by the forming of an own identity. The forming of an own identity is influenced by the different develop-mental tasks that are associated with adolescence, namely their emotional, cognitive, moral and social development. During this developmental phase the membership of a peer group becomes increasingly important and exclusion from the group is feared. This fear often leads to conforming to negative group norms and behaviour. From this context, the study is necessary. The researcher has undertaken a qualitative, phenomenological study, during which unstructured interviews were conducted with twelve grade nine learners from public high schools in the Drakenstein area of the Boland, Western Cape. These interviews were transcribed and the data analysed so that specific themes concerning negative peer pressure could be identified. From these empirical findings it was evident that the mutual relationships of the participants as well as the dynamics and norms within their respective groups, impacted severely on their description of negative peer pressure. Group formation in the middle adolescent years seems to be a complex process. It appears as if the smaller, more intimate group of friends can protect adolescents against negative peer pressure on the one hand, but can also exert pressure on group members to partake in negative activities. Therefore smaller groups often change as members move in and out of the group to find a group where they feel at home. According to the participants, conforming to negative behaviour and norms takes place more readily in the bigger or wider and more diverse peer group. Within these bigger groups it is easier for individuals to lose their identity, and therefore adolescents that are still in search of a personal identity and value system, give in to negative pressure and behaviour easier. A wide range of causes are named for this giving in to pressure, but according to the participants, their need for acceptance and recognition by the peer group as well as the accompanying fear of exclusion are the most important causes. From the study it was further evident that the relationships that adolescents find themselves in, play a deciding role in their description of negative peer pressure. The participants indicated that their relationship with their parents, their peer group, as well as the relationship with themselves, all influence their ability to handle negative peer pressure. From these findings the description of participants of negative peer pressure is explained in full. Suggestions are made to better equip parents, teachers and other professional people who work with adolescents in order to support and advise grade nine learners more successfully in their handling of negative peer pressure.
- Health Sciences