When people think of peer pressure, they usually think of someone being pressured to go against their conscience to engage in unhealthy behavior. That does happen, but peer pressure is far stronger than that: peers’ attitudes powerfully shape your child’s conscience, changing what they think is right or wrong.
A study in the September 2001 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health found that among children aged 13-15, those who had engaged in sex had friends who approved of sex at that age, and those who refrained from sex had friends who disapproved. Likewise, those who used condoms had friends who used condoms.
Going out of your way to foster healthy friendships is an increasingly important part of parenting as your children grow.