Conformity is a change in beliefs or behaviors when youth yield to real or imagined social pressure. Conformity is affected by developmental level, situations, and persons involved. Young children tend to conform to their parents' rules and expectations. As children become older, they become more autonomous from their parents, and also become more peer-oriented. Conformance to parents in neutral or prosocial situations (i.e., helping, volunteering) decreases gradually as a child ages. However, peer conformity, especially to antisocial behaviors (i.e., alcohol use, criminal acts) increases with age. Youth may engage in misconduct to avoid rejection, to stay in peers' good graces, or to gain approval. Children from families that are permissive and neglectful are likely to be more susceptible to peer influence and may join gangs to feel a sense of belonging. During middle and late adolescence, youth strike a balance between conformity to parents, peers, and their own individual identity.


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Belief Change 101

Belief Change 101

Do you suffer from a habit or a behavior or a repetitive thought pattern that keeps you from being who you want to be? Do you try to change this or that aspect of your life, but wind up right back where you started? You're not alone! Millions of Americans try to make changes, but the whopping majority fail exceptionally.

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