Relationships with peers during the adolescent years come closer to serving as prototypes for adult relationships in social and work settings, as well as interactions with members of the opposite sex,
Teenagers who do not learn how to get along with others by the time they reach adulthood are likely to face obstacles in their adult years.
The role of the peer group in helping an individual to define his or her own identity becomes very important during adolescence. The adolescent must get ready to meet society's demands for social independence, and for this reason, teens need the support and guidance of their peers.
What peer groups provide for the adolescent:
- The opportunity to learn how to interact with others
- Support in defining identity, interests, abilities and personality
- Autonomy without the control of adults and parents
- Opportunities for witnessing the strategies others use to cope with problems
- Emotional support
- Increase in social awareness and social decision making