Title Card: The Eleventh Hour #218, Peer Pressure, Rec: 6/27/89
Dir: Andrew Wilk
Funding for the show by announcer and overlay The Eleventh Hour graphic.
The Eleventh Hour graphic and show opener.
The Eleventh Hour graphic with small overlay photo of three teens and the title "Growing Up"
Show opens with wide shot of the studio - Host Robert Lipsyte sitting with guests, teens and others sitting in a semi circle with audience seated behind and in front of them.
Pan in on Host Lipsyte and guests, he announces the show a series on "Growing Up" and introduces himself.
Close up on Lipsyte as he reviews last night's program - the words, images that shape and direct young people; how vulnerable teens can feel especially without family support but as they grow older friends are more influential and they experience "peer pressure".
Cut away to a pretaped video of teen images.
Montage of teen images: Black silver studded leather belt on jeans; feet wearing black leather laced up boots, back of t-shirt reads "Pier Pressure"; tatoo'd arm; two teens give a high five - friends are hanging out sitting on a car
Continued montage. Close up on pretty blond teen in yellow blouse, close up on fpretty ace of ethnic teen girl with hoop earrings, red lips and hat, b&w striped t-shirt
Close up on yellow bicycle wheels, sneakered feet pedaling.
Teen couple sitting, legs entwined, on concrete ledge
Pan up, legs wearing lime green polka dot tights to cute side profile shot of African American female teen wearing big gold hoop earrings
Montage of var shots of popular teen jewelry: a hand wearing a gold name ring taking up four fingers, gold chain necklace, silver studded bracelet, skeleton earring, hand with silver rings on each finger holding cigarette to mouth
African American teen break dancing in traffic at night.
close up on an African American male teen with flat top haircut with shaved sides
Various extreme haircuts on teens, shaved "punk" hairdos, a name shaved on back of head, pointy hair, bright red hair and nose ring on smiling teen.
Montage of sneaker styles - feet wearing Air Jordans
Teenage boy on skate board jumping over trash cans, air bound tricks.
close up on foot wearing a colorful but beat up Converse All Stars hi top sneaker.
Montage of cars teens would like to have - boy leaning on snazzy white car, parked black Porsche, Mercedes symbol, gray Mercedes parked
Two teenage boys in graphic t-shirts sitting casually on park bench.
Teenage couple heads touching romantically
Shot from back, a couple hand in hand, wearing jeans walking down the street.
Montage of teen faces, a cute African American female with big gold hoop earrings, a shaved head boy with cigarette dangling from mouth, a smiling Spanish boy in yellow shirt and newsboy cap, African American boy with drumsticks sitting on ledge, African American boy with round sunglasses blowing a kiss, smiling big.
Wide shot studio, Host Lipsyte seated in semi-circle with guests.
Host Lipsyte introduces and welcomes guests, Dr. Betty Hamburg, Director Adolescent Psychology Mt. Sinai Hospital; Troy Morrell, Reporter New Youth Connectins Newspaper; Shanique Garcia, Student; Melanie Strauch, H.S. Student/Former Drug Abuser.
Melanie Strauch 4:42
Um, I don't think I would have started unless all my friends are doing it also. Um, I guess when I was going into high school, it was a big thing. You know, I want to be accepted. And I didn't think I could be unless I did drugs because that's what everybody did.
Robert Lipsyte 4:58
There's something going on in your life that you felt that you had to do drugs to be accepted?
Melanie Strauch 5:04
No, not really. I mean, I had an understanding family. It wasn't like, we were in rough times, but I just wanted to, you know, be popular and have lots of friends.
Robert Lipsyte 5:13
Troy, you were a gang member was that?
Troy Morell 5:16
I wouldn't call it a gang. What would you call it a big posse, a big posse as well. That's what people will say get posse of a group of friends that just be together. Now they call it a gang cause of frustration FC really. And we didn't really call it a gang the way you call it a gang, we just a group of guys who knew each other way back for a couple years, new how we feel and became one group. So it was like, it was peer pressure. When a group was most of the guys like about getting girls and sneakers and things like that. And then got me a lot of trouble was when I was 15 got me a lot of trouble. Like my main, the leader of the group was Jeffrey and Jeffrey was like, Batman, I was like Robin. So you know how it goes on Batman, Robin, get a hit. So they talk jeffy do something. At one time we my friend golf is Walker Street, he's running and a bunch of guys went after him. We said, yo, Jeff, what happened and we see what happened. And we started working with him. Jeff will start the trouble we'd be running, because we already know what's going on.
Robert Lipsyte 6:11
But we're glad you're here. As you know, Robins out of the picture now for . Shanique yoy kind of in it for peer pressure in a different way in an environment where you really had to stand up and work hard. You became a top student. How did that work for you?
Shanique Garcia 6:27
Well, I guess my family supported me a lot. And having friends who can relate to my problems also helped because a lot of times when I used to hang out, it was like, it was a whole bunch of people doing the wrong thing. And I had this one friend named Tina, who did the right thing, and I had to stick with her. We fought through it together.
Robert Lipsyte 6:45
This was kind of mini peer pressure you were Where are you from?
Shanique Garcia 6:50
I'm from the Bronx. I was raised in the Bronx. Now I live in Manhattan.
Robert Lipsyte 6:54
Dr. Dr. Hamburg, we're talking about peer pressure. Is there more peer pressure? Is his peer more pressurized is something happening?
Dr Betty Hamburg 7:03
Well, I think it's interesting that there's always influence appears at at every age, maybe not for infants. But you know, you and I also concerned about it. And I think here we have expressed the kinds of pressure, both positive and negative. We heard how one peer was a very strong pressure for a certain direction. We heard about a posse a big posse. And I don't know how many people you were influenced by. But I was sort of struck when you said everybody was taking drugs. I'll bet that not more than five or 6% of the whole school. But to you it was your intimate group. Was it a kind of a click? How many people were there?
Melanie Strauch 7:53
I guess yeah, it was just a click that I wanted to be in. I mean, I didn't ever fit in with smart people or with you know, jocks. I wasn't very athletic and I just wanted to fit in somewhere. And those were people that I thought were going to be my friends.
Host Lipsyte directs questions from members of the audience.
INSERT QUESTION/ANSWER SESSION FROM THE AUDIENCE:
Dr Betty Hamburg 8:29
I think we heard a possible answer from Shanique which is you look around to find a person that is more like yourself, that has the values that you really care about and you seem to know what you want to be and how you want to dress and that. Unlike Melanie, it isn't important that you be like you know believe everybody else is like but you you you have a really strong idea of who you are and what you want to be and I think if you look around they there is going to be at least one more person and it's really important to understand once enough I think that was an important thing we heard from Shanique
Robert Lipsyte 9:08
Shanique would you add anything to that?
Shanique Garcia 9:11
Well just be yourself I mean you really don't have to impress anybody as long as you're satisfied with yourself you really shouldn't try to get anybody you know impress you dress for yourself.
Robert Lipsyte 9:20
Sarah What do you face I mean dressing the way you do and talking the way you you walk down the street of a neighborhood where I guess people saying stuff do you. what are they saying?
Sarah (Audience Member) 9:29
well I like to just freestyle you know New York style. And over in York everybody's about sneakers and jeans and gold chains but I don't you know I'm not really into jewelry. And I listen to different music, they listen to rap music, and I listened to rock and it's like really strange because I'm so different from them and they look at me like I'm crazy and criticize me. But I try to ignore and I keep I found myself like going towards their ways I actually bought jewelry, but I didn't feel comfortable in it. So I stopped wearing it. Now I'm back to myself again
Robert Lipsyte 10:00
Shanique did you ever find yourself kind of drawn into wanting to be part of the group?
Shanique Garcia 10:04
Actually yes because Saturday night, I went to a party and there was this boy there. And he told me that I talked to white. I said, Don't talk white. I talk educated, which you aren't, you know. So I mean, it's plain and simple.
Robert Lipsyte 10:19
You've heard that phrase, yourself that you act white, talk white
Sarah (Audience Member) 10:24
In this, like, it hurts a lot, because I know that I'm black. And I know my heritage, but everybody tries to tell me, you're trying to be white, and such and such, I don't see anything wrong. I mean, I'm just trying to get myself where I want to be. I want to be somebody.
Robert Lipsyte 10:36
Troy, when you made the move from the posse, to the newspaper, your newspaper reporter now, were there people trying to pull you back? Did anybody say you're acting white or you're acting against your nature,
Troy Morell 10:50
what happened is most of the posse went up in prison anyway. So there wasn't left for them to tell me what to do. After a couple of years with these guys, some graduated, some went to jai some wound up dead. So it was an nothing left, really. So I was like making a move couple of friends tried to pull me back, say, You're not being hidden while you're hanging out with someone. Why not? Because I'm busy working now, I'm working on articles stuff. They was like, envious in a way and also sad by the fact I wouldn't hang with them anymore. But they do some people that tried to pull me back,
Robert Lipsyte 11:21
you do have to fight that that peer pressure, we have somebody else.
Unknown Speaker 11:27
I'm Matt G from the high school. And mine is to Melanie, what did you feel like in choosing between your parents wishes and not becoming involved in drugs, and in being involved in drugs to the pressure of your friends?
Melanie Strauch 11:40
Well, I knew inside I felt really guilty, and I didn't want to do I was doing things like lying them and stealing from them. And I knew that's not the way I was brought up. And that, you know, was wrong, and I felt really bad. But like friends, you know, were like, become most important, because, you know, I was like sissy to hang out your parents, you know, wanted to just be with your parents all the time, you know, so I just, you know, wants to be accepted. And I just thought that my parents would just live with it, you know, I was just the way I am now. So you would have to deal with it?
Robert Lipsyte 12:09
Is that a struggle you've gone through or seen in your school? Yeah. How? How have other people dealt with it? Or have you dealt with it?
Matt (Audience Member) 12:17
Well, in my school, it's back home. It's where it's sort of like Melanie says, You're trying to fit in with everybody. And I've been going to a lot with alcohol. And right now I'm going to aa for it. And my parents, they're trying to, they're encouraging me. My friends are starting to encourage me. And it feels weird.
Robert Lipsyte 12:44
Let me ask you this, because there's a sense that aa is a pure pressure to, I mean, there there are people who are urging you to, you know, just say no or not to have alcohol, it is that very much like what you went through the first time around, where I assumed friends were drinking and you were drinking with them?
Matt (Audience Member) 13:05
Well, you could say that they really didn't encourage you to drink. They just wanted you to be in with him.
Robert Lipsyte 13:21
Thank you very much for sharing that with us to someone else. Yeah, this is for the doctor, your name.
Gregor (Audience Member) 13:28
My name is Gregor, when I go to the Horace Mann school, although everybody feel some form of peer pressure, is there are a certain type of person that is more susceptible to be influenced by it being categorized by social or family structure.
Dr Betty Hamburg 13:46
I think Melanie gave us one clue. And that is I think that when you're in a situation that you feel insecure and transition, like you were entering High School, you said and I don't know how old you were, but it looked big and scary. And it was a time when it was important to feel accepted and to and what you believed was going to be a support. It turned out that didn't work that way. But I think if you have moved into a new neighborhood, and you don't have your old friends, or if there's a lot going on at home, and you're worried about your family, maybe it's illness, maybe it's a divorce, but you're insecure and you don't really have any sort of anchor points, then a felon needs a friend. And sometimes the easiest groups to get into are the ones that are you know, taking drugs. It isn't it's hard to get into the clicks you want to and you know those actually turned out to be easier, but I think it's at those times and we ought to recognize that there. Are these vulnerable times and have some supports out there for kids? And I think we could do it
Robert Lipsyte 15:05
Greg Are you in the groups that you want to be in?
Gregor (Audience Member) 15:08
I'm where I want to be, but I often feel the pressures and I'm just wondering if there's a certain type of person who can avoid these pressures?
Robert Lipsyte 15:14
What are some of the pressures that you feel like you
Gregor (Audience Member) 15:18
drinking having to go out with girls having to go everywhere
Robert Lipsyte 15:22
You know that's very if I could take you one step further. Because when when we talk about sex, it's always you know, girls having to say no girls, but boys sometimes feel pressure to go after girls or when they might not want to. Is that true? Or am I making that up?
Gregor (Audience Member) 15:40
Well, a lot of my friends have girlfriends and it's not that I don't want a girlfriend. But there are some times when I don't want to be hooked onto someone I want to be free just be able to look around whenever I want. So
Robert Lipsyte 15:55
can you add something to that triangle?
Troy Morell 15:57
Are you first got started with Jeff leader, he's the most like a Casanova. He said, they all the girls I. So like, we'd be in a train, we see three girls, there's only two of us, he would talk to them. And we would get rid of someone other friends we have with us. And he was tired person now, like, push us he was mostly into sex. And he was type person that if you get the couple of girls, you'll spend time with the girl, then something's wrong with you. So they it was it was a kind of push on time I want to be bothered. But then it's sometime Yeah, I was down with it.
Shanique I think we've covered the male point of view, do you have any thoughts about that kind of peer pressure to have sex,
I just try to avoid it any way I can. Because it's I mean, it's scary just to to, or to bring yourself to that point, you know, maybe you want a boyfriend. But then when you get to the point, and he wants to have sex, and you don't, and there's some kind of disagreement, and you really want to just experience it, it's not for the right reason. And you really have to talk it out. Because if not, if you keep it inside, you'll just burst
I kind of heard you, you say, I kind of thought I heard you say that. It's better to avoid the whole situation, then be forced into a way of having sex or when you don't want to, I mean, your experience in the neighborhood is that it comes to that for girls.
Because if you put yourself in the in the predicament, then you're the one who's going to have to deal with it, no one else can help you. If you're going to put yourself in that position, then it's your fault. It's really not anyone else's. So if you avoid at all, then you really don't have to worry about it
what about that pressure? What about the pressure to have a boyfriend? And then what about the peer pressure of other girls having sex?
Well, you're gonna if you really don't want to, if you want it for experience, and I mean, if you really, really want it that badly, you'll do it no matter what anyone says. But I mean, you really have to convince yourself that if you really don't want it, then you're just going to have to convince yourself and make sure that that's what you're believing inside, maybe not everyone else will will agree with you. But as long as you know, and you convinced yourself, then I think you'll be ok
Dr Betty Hamburg
Well, I was gonna ask how old you are . you're 17 Because I think it's hard for people to kind of recognize that you're ready for things at different times, and we all sort of being pushed into a mold. And at her age 14 i think that you know, not being ready, is something that maybe you ought to be aware that that's where it is for most girls, your age. And I think there's a sort of a pressure and understanding what most kids are doing, I think that we really have ideas that everybody's doing it when everybody's not doing it. And I think you'd be surprised if you discovered at your school, who's not doing a lot of things that are being talked about. And you should, you know, take some kind of, you know, comfort in that and and just, you know, recognize that just like at age 14, there are some people who are really tall, and some who are still really short, that or, you know, 16 or 17 that everyone has his own pace and time and you're sort of asking, Is there something wrong with me or people like me, and was nothing wrong with you, if you were hadn't had your growth spurt as early as some other people there's nothing wrong with you. You're probably taller than they are now. And so recognize there's nothing wrong with you Don't you know go along
that was one of the most amazing things I found out years later at a high school reunion that those guys weren't doing it either.
Natasha (Audience Member)
Hi my name is Natasha Feuchman? And I'd like to ask Dr. Hamburg a question. Why do you think it's so hard in our society to be independent? Usually when you're a teenager and what why is it so hard to be accepted as an independent person through your peers?
Audience shot - young adults and teens listening intently
INTERVIEW INSERT CONTINUED:
Dr Betty Hamburg:
person. And for a long time, from the time you're maybe 11, to 19 18 19, you're a leisure class, a lot to do. And it's much easier to be grown up to be respected as independent and grown up if you really have adult roles that you can carry out. And I think we need to give, you know, kids a lot more responsibility, and then you'll get treated more grown up and you'll feel and be more grown up.
Isn't question because we we've been talking about peer pressure is such a basically negative thing. That seems to be some positive aspects in in terms of it sissy to hang out with your folks, people want to hang out with their friends, and part of hanging out with your friends is learning how to hang out with people that you're going to be with the rest of your life. And isn't this kind of peer pressure in this period of time when you learn this?
Dr Betty Hamburg
I think that's right. I think that if you could kind of look around as I was advising our friend over here to do to find people who have more of your values, rather than having to think I've got to do their values. And the other thing is that almost all kids that I've ever spoken to really respect their parents and they respect their values. And the idea that just because you're going to be you know, grown up that you're going to throw that all out the window. Doesn't have to be
Adam ( Audience Member)
Yeah, my name is Adam saying come from southern New Jersey. I wanted to ask I'm sorry, I forget your name, the former drug addict, im sorry, Melanie sorry, Dr. Hamburg said that, in fact, only a few people are doing drugs in your high school. But don't you feel that most people in your high school had at least tried alcohol and marijuana? And doesn't this create peer pressure for everyone? Because I mean, she said that most people probably weren't. But I feel like in my high school, most people have at least tried it. Do you feel that?
Yeah, too. I mean, we're slow. I'm a small High School. And pretty much everybody knows everybody and what everybody did for the weekend, you know, you know, and, yeah, I did feel like everyone was doing and I mean, that's all there is in my town. You know, I mean, I have a small suburban town, and that's all there is, you know, and I just felt like, that's what I had to do. Everybody was,
where do you stand on this? Adam? What do you do?
Adam ( Audience Member)
Well, I think people do get affected by it. If they think that other people in their in their school, because they you feel like, if you haven't tried it, you should at least try it to see what it's like. And for some people, I guess that's okay. But for other people, they it becomes a problem for them, they become addicted or they can't stop. And it's like, how do you know whether you're the kind of person who can do it? Or? Or can't?
Would you like to talk about your experience?
Adam ( Audience Member)
I think I would I'm not really that affected by peer pressure, because I'm kind of an independent person. So I would have, you know, I make my decisions based on what I feel, I think, but I think it does affect people.
Yeah. Well, would you think that? I mean, people do you want to experiment they do want to try they they don't know whether it's going to be something that's going to wreck their lives?
Dr Betty Hamburg
That's right. It's a it's a big lottery. And the question is, do you want to be a guinea pig? And that's, you know, a choice but this whole idea of experimenting when I said to her doing drugs, I think you understood what I meant. Because the number of people who are really heavy into drugs in your school was probably small, but the number who tried one thing or another is you know, a lot larger and it depends on the drug. I think more people have tried marijuana than Have you tried Angel Dust or crack. And I think that we really need to understand more about exactly how many people were doing it a lot less are doing it than anyone thinks just like you had this revelation later, that for you know, the sex not as many people were doing it, but there's a lot
i wish i really i would have felt a lot better if I had known that. I have a question up there.
Sarah (Audience Member)
Um, yes, I'm a member of the Urban League Youth Council. And since we try to counteract bad peer pressure with our own peer pressure, which we consider good, it's try and get kids involved in their community and liking you know, their lives. And since everyone up there has been affected by peer pressure, we'd like to know like, how we can use the same techniques that we used on you in a good way so we'd like to know what really made you do it? I mean, was it them just saying it or was it you seeing them do it? Or what? What can we use in order to counteract that? Well,
who would you like to direct that anyone? Well I guess the question is how do you turn it around? How do you turn the peer pressure that puts you in a posse that made you abuse drugs to just say no become a reporter on the new connections?
What happened to us both my friends finally got into a thing called road patrol which was something like a guardian angel in our neighborhood where we was walking around being like cops they have our walkie talkie or started was that was the fact that a lady named miss white she pushed us she was saying that we all a bunch of nothing and cursed us out a lot so we try to prove to her that we could be good too. So what we did were first tied to tear up road patrol because their patrol was nothing throw firecrackers in the hall and stuff like that. And after a while she asked us well what can we do if we was tenor? So what happened is the fact if you take Tom tell some I gave somebody something to do, right? Like a whole posse we all at first was this me and Jeff, who got it to a next you know, with like 138 for raod patrol so we'll find something fun to do. We want a trip, see, protect our own neighborhood, we even snitch on people who sell drugs, and they will at the time. So what what we did we just no way we turn it around, we started doing positive things by helping out instead of doing destructive things,
I mean, it's that kind of strong adult guide to something to do. We do have a number of members of the guardian angels with who in a sense are a posse, who'd say we certainly wouldn't call him a gang, but they certainly you know, a group of people who exert peer pressure on each other. We're almost out is there a guardian angel who would like to add to this or your own feelings about being a guardian angel?
Ok, my question. My name is Apache one.
Apache we don't really have time for question, but I just do you have a thought about being a guardian angel. Why you're a guardian angel.
Well, my grandma was mugged by drug dealers. And I felt that participating in Guardian Angelism was a positive for myself, for the community. As well as the city of New York.
Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you all very much for being with us. Our series continues tomorrow with parenting Thursday on runaways Friday with headstart. This is the 11th hour. I Robert Lipsyte.
Interview and question/answer session concludes. Host Lipsyte thanks audience and announces continuing session on "Parenting" on tomorrow night's program.
z'in on Lipsyte, he announces the program and introduces himself. Show ends to audience applause.
Show credits over teen audience mingling in the studio.
Funding for the show by announcer and overlay The Eleventh Hour graphic.
Description: The Eleventh Hour - Show #218 Title: Peer Pressure (a week long series on "Growing Up" Guests: Dr. Betty Hamburg, Dire. Adolescent Psychology Mt. Sinai Hospital; Troy Morrell, Reporter New Youth Newspaper; Shanique Garcia, Student; Melanie Strauch, Student/Former Drug Abuser Rec: 6/27/89 Original Broadcast Date: 6/27/89 Description: Peer pressure during adolescence can be destructive, but it can also be productive. Host Robert Lipsyte and guests look at pressures that shape the development of children.
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