There are potential links between peer pressure and people engaging in criminal behavior. This is especially true with juvenile offenders, but it can certainly play a role in the way that adults approach the same situations. The pressure to be well-regarded in a peer group is strong for everyone.
Interestingly, some studies have even suggested that criminal behavior can be learned, equating it with essentially being part of a subculture. Those who are within the subculture don’t hold to the same norms as the rest of society. In this sense, someone who has joined that group is slowly going to change their own norms and perceptions of the world. This makes them more likely to break laws that they wouldn’t have broken before.
The study also noted that members of these groups are often asked to prove themselves. They may feel that they have to carry out illegal actions simply to remain within the group or to show their standing within the hierarchy. They are not just changing their norms or learning a new behavior, but they are being shown that that behavior is important and even required to be part of the group.
Exploring criminal defense options
You may have a teenager or another loved one who has been accused of criminal activity, and you believe peer pressure played a role. Maybe you were shocked to find out what they were accused of doing, so you know that they must’ve been influenced by outside sources. They’ve never done anything like this before.
If you are in this position, it’s very important to think about this individual’s future and all of the criminal defense options that you have to protect it.