"I've got your back!" : the emotional influence of loyalty and fear of rejection on conformity and group compliance among adolescents : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Turitea, New Zealand

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Massey University
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The fear of rejection by peers has been investigated in past and present literature with regards to adolescent conformity. However, adolescents’ loyalty to their friends has not yet been explored. Given Aotearoa New Zealand bicultural nature and Maori tikanga emphasis on whanaungatanga (or relationships), the influence of cultural factors on peer relationships was of particular interest in the current study. Kaupapa Maori research highlights that Maori and non-Maori think and act differently due to differing worldviews. Therefore, the decision to conform to one’s peer group may be influenced by these differing perceptions. Participants included male adolescents (15 to 18 years old) from local high schools who responded to a scenario-based questionnaire relating to the processes and reasoning that influenced their decisions about everyday social situations. Two-factor analyses of variance were conducted, and comparisons were based on ethnicity (Maori and non-Maori), prime group (Loyalty and Rejection Fear) and scores on the loyalty and rejection fear Likert scales. The study found that Maori and non-Maori did not differ significantly with regards to feelings of loyalty toward or fear of being rejected by their peers. Participants were mostly conflicted in their decision making when there was more than one group of loyalties.
Peer pressure in adolescence, Conformity, Maori youth, Adolescent friendships, Attitudes, New Zealand