According to WebMD, peer pressure makes it more difficult for teenagers to choose responsible actions, since they are susceptible to the opinions and influences of others. Teenage peer pressure takes a variety of forms, from teenagers who encourage friends to engage in risky behavior to subtle social pressure to do what others are doing.

WebMD notes that most parents think of teenage peer pressure as overt and menacing, while it is more often subtle and implied. For example, teenagers who are committed to not drinking or doing drugs are far more likely to feel left out of the group if their friends engage in those behaviors than feeling directly pressured to try drugs.

Scholastic defines peer pressure as a desire to go with the crowd, even when it goes against a teenager's beliefs. Peer pressure often makes it difficult for teenagers to express themselves and openly enjoy the things that are important to them for fear that it will alienate them from the group. In extreme cases, peer pressure can lead to bullying if a teenager does not agree to go along with what the group wants. In most cases, peer pressure most strongly affects a teenager's internal sense of self.