What Is a Clique?
- Cliques are small enough so that the members feel that they know each other well and appreciate each other better than do people outside the clique.
- Important because they provide the main social context in which adolescents interact with each other.
- An activity clique is formed by adolescents that are thrust together by circumstance, and friendship cliques are those that an adolescent chooses for themselves.
- Not all adolescents are part of a clique. They could be "liaisons," or individuals with many acquaintances but not really and 'best' friends, or possibly a socially isolated individual.
- Often subsets of larger social groups, or "crowds"
- Crowds are larger, reputation based groups of adolescents who may or may
not spend a lot of time together.
- Not based on actual friendships, but serve to place the adolescent within the
social structure of the school.
- Determine different degrees of status or importance within the school
- Some typical crowds could be classified and "jocks," "nerds," "stoners," etc.
These labels vary from school to school but their presence is mostly
The Effects and Social Significance of Cliques
- Clique members may also forge closer and more lasting friendships.
- Being part of a clique creates a sense of belonging, and benefits the social skills of a person.
- The ability to develop healthy friendships through cliques depends on an
adolescent's self-identity, self-esteem, and self-reliance.
- Positive peer pressure can be present in a clique
- Can mobilize an adolescent's motivation for success and encourage
them to conform to healthy behaviors. Their peers can act as positive role
models and will often listen to, accept, and understand the frustrations,
challenges, and concerns associated with being a teenager.
- However, adolescents who are part of a clique often have low self-esteem
and are obsessed with fitting in.
- Negative peer pressure within a clique can come with the adolescents' need
for acceptance, approval, and belonging.
- Can lead to dangerous behaviors such as excessive spending, alcohol and
drug use, stealing, breaking school rules, engaging in sexual activity,
dangerous pranks, etc.
- This is how certain peer groups among adolescents evolve into dangerous