Preschool children face peer pressure too

Peer pressure is not only a problem adults and adolescents have to contend with in their everyday lives. This is the finding of a new study by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and Psycholinguists in Nijmegen, Netherlands, who revealed the issue also affects preschool children.

According to the investigation, the public judgement of four-year-old kids regarding certain situations often conforms to that prevalent among the majority of peers, regardless of whether or not they feel they know better.

Almost 100 youngsters from 24 different preschool classrooms took part in the study, which showed many four-year-olds will go with what others say, despite knowing this to be false.

Daniel Haun of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology - which was founded in 1997 - said: "Children as young as four years of age are subject to peer pressure and that they succumb to it, at least to some extent, out of social motivations."

Professor Helen Cowie from the University of Surrey, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Psychologist, commented: "All the more need to teach very young children assertiveness skills so that they feel confident in expressing what they really think and feel."