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Girls Inc. Friendly PEERsuasion®

We encourage parents to talk to their daughters about what they are learning and to support these skills at home.

Girls Inc. Friendly PEERsuasion® Program Description

What:

Girls develop skills to resist pressure to use harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, household chemicals, and other drugs. In this peer-education program, girls ages 11 to 14 learn healthy ways to manage stress and confront peer, media, and other pressures and then assume the roles of PEERsuaders for young girls.

Why:

Girls deserve healthful environments, but they face many pressures that thwart their ability to make smart choices concerning the use of legal and illicit substances. Girls often are induced to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs to become or stay slim, manage stress, appear mature, be popular with peers of both sexes, or escape overwhelming problems. Because many of these pressures are more prevalent for girls than boys, standard prevention programs may not be effective with girls.
Girls use substances differently and for different reasons than boys. Girls are more likely to accept a substance from someone else and to engage in sexual behavior under the influence of a substance than boys are. The desire to be accepted by peers can further impact girls’ use of substances. Moreover, girls are more likely than boys to perceive themselves as being obese as well as have greater social pressures than boys to be thin. Thus, girls may use diet pills and cigarettes for weight control, self-esteem, and popularity.

How:

Friendly PEERsuasion targets the years during which girls begin to more fully experience and respond to influence and pressure from their peers. Friendly PEERsuasion builds participants’ knowledge and skills for resisting negative peer pressure by empowering them to use a process of identifying specifically what they are being pressured to do and the consequences. Participants then determine healthy alternatives and invite peers to join them in acting on their smarter choice.
Participants also build leadership skills that help them plan and implement substance use prevention activities with groups of younger children ages 6 to 10 (referred to as PEERsuade-Mes). By serving as peer educators and mentors, the older participants are able to reinforce their commitment to avoiding substance use.

Skills gained:

  • Girls build communication skills, learn to recognize stress, and practice healthy stress response
  • Enables girls to join in partnership with women leaders in their community.
  • Builds girls’ leadership and advocacy skills.
  • Gives girls the opportunity to make decisions, take responsibility, and initiate projects.

Resources

For more information about Friendly Peers download our Parent Guide,  and to further to assist you download our Parent Resources 2014  so you can start your conversation about drugs.