Emotional autonomy versus susceptibility to peer pressure: A case study of Hong Kong adolescent students

Authors: Chan, Kwok-Wai; Chan, Siu-Mui

Source: Research in Education, 1 May 2008, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 38-52(15)


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A questionnaire consisting of two scales was administered to 550 Hong Kong secondary students to examine their emotional autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure. Emotional autonomy was studied by the scale (EAS) developed by Steinberg and Silverberg (1986) and susceptibility to peer pressure was studied by the scale developed by Sim and Koh (2003). Multivariate analysis of variance showed significant differences across grade levels and age groups in emotional autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure. Correlational analysis showed EAS was positively and significantly related to susceptibility to peer pressure. The results support the notion that as children grew into adolescence they tend to seek autonomy and independence from their parents. At the same time adolescents are seeking their identity and interacting more frequently with their peers, and they may yield to peer pressure and come to conformity with their peers in order to gain peer recognition. The findings help parents and teachers understand the pattern of development of their children in their emotional autonomy and susceptibility to peer pressure, and hence their behaviour. Based on these significant relationships, implications can be drawn for future research into adolescent development and students' learning.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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