The pressure of getting into a top-tier college seems to have influenced the ways teenagers sort themselves into cliques. How do modern high-school peer groups compare to the familiar cliques of past decades — jocks, stoners, brains? A new study explores that question and highlights a few new groups that have formed in the high-school social hierarchy, offering insights into adolescents' changing attitudes that stem, in part, from the increased pressure to obtain a college degree. The findings, published in the Journal of Adolescent Research in December of , come from a series of focus groups that researchers conducted with recently graduated and ethnically diverse students who were born between and , and enrolled in one of two U. To get an idea of students' recent high-school experiences with peer groups, the researchers, working at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Texas at Austin, asked their focus groups to write down the various cliques that existed at their schools, and then to try to agree upon common groups that existed at all of the schools.
Photo credit: Jerry Kiesewetter via Unsplash. January Many of the effects on clique composition described below may be Teen cliques attributed to crowd segregation. July—August HarvestFest Detroit at Robert C. Larger text size Large text size Regular text size. Maintaining one's status and power requires constant effort. Teen cliques, recent research cliqjes their validity.
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Research does not support the common belief that troubled adolescents have few or no friends. But the friends in my group are the people who know me best. Sam is a girl who is used to being one of the popular kids. Teen cliques has been part of Teen cliques same friend group since third grade when she and four others were assigned Girls peeing in bathing suit special project. Ariel and one of the other girls joined a local theater group. Sign Up. The "invitation" approach originates within the clique: a current member of a clique invites a potential member either explicitly or by indirect socialization, which consists of the clique attempting to demonstrate the joys and benefits of membership. Talk to a counselor, teacher, or other education professional you trust. But even the leader can lose her power. Teen cliques like the friends they meet at their other activities too.
When people think of cliques , they often assume that they are comprised of the popular kids at school.
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- However, when these groups are restrictive and will not let other people be a part of their friendship group — then it is a clique.
Knowing why do teenagers join cliques can help you, as a parent, understand why your teen is so desperate to get into a particular group of friends. Read this expert interview with Susan Smith Kuczmarski, Ed.
Susan Smith Kuczmarski, Ed. She has done extensive research on how teens learn in settings outside of school, how they become leaders, and learn social skills. She also has firsthand experience as a parent to three teenage sons. She has used her knowledge and experience for the past 30 years helping teachers and parents teach teenagers skills on leadership and responsibility. One of the biggest reasons why teenagers join cliques is because they value friends before anything else, including parents!
Peer relationships are everything. In some ways, they replace the family. Cliques provide valuable opportunities for teens to learn a mix of social skills as well. Teens learn how to barter, take responsibility, and take collective responsibility. When a new teen comes into a teen group, for example, there are certain things that other teens will communicate to him or her about the group. Older members or leaders will make very clear to the newcomer just what is and is not appropriate behavior.
These peer leaders will even reprimand other kids when they do something unacceptable. The leaders help maintain the group or clique in this way.
Members of a clique learn to mutually support and nurture one another. One teen group member I know went through an awful experience. Although only one or two teens in the group knew what had actually happened, they all sensed that it was something bad and offered their support when she returned to the group. A nearby adult noted:. Incredible to watch, it was like some herd of animals where one of them gets injured and the others crowd around and physically hold the one on its feet until it feels stable.
You could just about see these kids crowding around her and holding her up. The kids moved in or her faster than the adults did. In fact, I picked up from them the idea that something was wrong. Another example of this feeling of mutual supportiveness happened in another group in which a clique member lived on the streets because his parents kicked him out of the house.
He lived on the streets for several weeks before adults became aware of it. The teens had helped him with food, clothing, places to sleep, and moral support. At the point when he was beginning to hurt and they saw he was not going to be able to take it much longer, the teens informed adults. As soon as the teens were unable to help him further, they alerted adults, who then took over and began working with Jimmy's parents at home. In this example, teens took responsibility for his welfare and offered support.
There was a very strong sense of looking out for each other in the group. Teens can feel this sense of support and belongingness as a part if a clique. Teens usually join cliques because there is a group of kids that they like or are attracted to, and want to spend time hanging out with them.
Some teens join the popular kids group, as they value on this "popular" quality. Others join different kinds of groups-like music, sports, or smart kids groups because they are attracted to the qualities or values of their members. There usually are many groups to explore, select, and pursue.
Home life does have an impact on teens and cliques. Often the choice of which group a teen joins is reflective of the family culture.
For example, if there is strong parent participation in a religious group, the teen may choose to get involved in a church-related clique. If a teen has parents who are civic oriented, the teen may get involved in a group like the WMCA, where teens take on lots of responsibilities in planning formal group activities. On the other hand, if parents offer a loose family culture and are not home on a regular basis, the teen might select a drop-in-hangout center as their clique.
I do think that the nature of the clique that a teen selects often reflects the family culture in which they grow up. Teens are really busy trying to figure out "Who am I?
Parents often step in and try to control this self-discovery process. Group or clique members create a sense of connection, yet they are not running their lives. This provides a shift, a process that provides a stepping back a bit, which encourages teens to discover their voice and identity. To further answer, "Why do teenagers join cliques? They also join because cliques offer freedom.
But when they have it, they're also going to experience mistakes. Freedom is the ability to choose and the power to act. Too often, parents and other adults snatch away valuable learning experiences by choosing and acting for our teenagers.
However, let's not forget, the skill to choose and the power to act must be nurtured and learned. To become independent, teens must learn how to do things themselves. Freedom is necessary for this learning to occur.
Parents should know that becoming a member of a teen group is very difficult and time consuming. In general, parents need to have greater sensitivity to how much work it is for teens to join a group or clique.
Parents should offer loving help and encouragement at every turn. Finally, parents should never try to join their teen's group. It is to balance connecting with stepping back and letting go. The Sacred Flight of the Teenager. Susan Smith Kuczmarski Knowing why do teenagers join cliques can help you, as a parent, understand why your teen is so desperate to get into a particular group of friends.
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Cliques make people feel like the belong Cliques offer protection from other cliques Cliques are a support group What are the negatives of cliques? Understand your values. Maintaining one's status and power requires constant effort. Triangulation: The Narcissist's Best Play. She might not be a good "follower" — especially if she can be popular enough on her own.
Teen cliques. Clique Myths
12 of High School Cliques, Identified - Detroit and Ann Arbor Metro Parent
Pages: 1 2 All. As they push for increasing independence from their parents, they turn to their peers for guidance, acceptance, and security. Safety, for those whose self-esteem and self-confidence is still shaky, lies in fitting in and having a place to belong. Ariel has been part of the same friend group since third grade when she and four others were assigned a special project. They immediately clicked. Hanging out at school expanded into hanging out after school and on weekends.
Ariel and one of the other girls joined a local theater group. Two others are on the field hockey team. Three of the girls spend lots of time at the dance studio. They like the friends they meet at their other activities too. But in the school halls, they like to touch base with each other. But the friends in my group are the people who know me best. Shari agrees. Instead, they are organized around power and popularity.
Leaders of such groups often are charismatic and controlling. Members of the group rely on exclusivity and very strict internal codes to establish and maintain the idea that they are something special. They do everything together and have no tolerance for any member branching out to friends outside the group. Lacking the self-esteem and confidence to be their own person, each instead relies on the membership in an exclusive club for her or his identity.
The problem with this strategy is that the group can easily take that identity away. No one wants to be that girl or that guy who is evicted from the group. Conformity to the whims of the leaders is the price paid for membership. Sam is a girl who is used to being one of the popular kids. Everyone knows who they are. They sit together in the lunchroom and hang out together in the halls. Working retail is cool; waitressing definitely is not. This is the stuff that makes for mean girls or mean guys.
By picking on or bullying others who look different, who like different things, or have different values, the clique maintains their exclusivity and the illusion of their superiority.
It was like at first sight. I thought those girls were my friends but I just have to get away from them now.
Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. She is author of the insightful parenting e-book, Tending the Family Heart. Check out her book, Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem. Psych Central. All rights reserved.
Find help or get online counseling now. By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed. Hot Topics Today 1. What is Chemsex Addiction? Triangulation: The Narcissist's Best Play.