The role of environment in development of personality

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

The environment always plays a vital role in the development of personality. Including among these factors are parents, peer group, and any particular situations. All these influence different aspects of the child's personality based on how they will do emotionally in their later life.

Parents, in particular, have different styles that would impact their children's personality as an adult. For example, authoritarian parents demand positive feedback and force the child to adhere to rules around the house not tolerating any excuses or disobedience. They also threaten to punish their kids if they don't abide by these requirements. The children, who have such kind of parents, may become heavily affected by the strict environment and when they grow up, they would become authoritarian parents themselves.

Another characteristic of parent temperament can be put as neglect. Neglectful parent doesn't pay any attention to their children, which makes the kid feel disregarded in the process. Ignored kids won't get the proper attention or care they deserve by their caregivers and would grow up following in their parent's footsteps by not show any affection towards their sons or daughters.

Peer groups, on the other hand, have different influences, which can mostly be seen in teenagers compared to their parents. When kids reach their adolescent age, they become friends with a group of people. These people share similar opinions with them, agree upon a lot of discussions, and converse things that a normal youth won't be able to discuss with his/her parents. Those conversations may include sex, flirting around, drugs, alcohol, and other controversial things.

The positive aspect of such peer group interaction involves one telling the other student or another group to study hard, be productive, meet others' expectations, and be at places on time. Mostly when being part of your peers, they could increase your self-confidence by helping you visualize who you want to be and finding your inner place in life.

But, there always are negative aspects to such kind of things. The inferior part of being in a peer group is when they make you do something that you would never do yourself as an individual. To quote some examples: breaking into the school library at midnight, stealing candy and soda drink from a gas station, and trying to harass a girl by asking her phone number when she clearly isn't interested. If the kid follows these rules and finds enjoyment in it, he/she would fell in a group's favor and would have the habit of committing these acts of misdeeds as an individual to satisfy friends and to prove that he/she is trustworthy to them. These events would have a deep impact on one’s environment, viewpoints of the world around him/her, and would send life into a downward spiral. Sometimes, the young adult is being coerced to participate in activities that are harmful to him/her or could get him/her into trouble. But the teenagers capitulate to their demands and needs because of threats made against them by their own group, by severing ties, ostracize from the assembly, or harm with physical and emotional sadism. This, in particular, creates a feeling of ambivalence in the youth because the young chap feels conflicted within as to whether or not, he/she should follow their rules or separate himself/herself from them because they are being a bad influence.

The peer group's morals, values, and beliefs clash with the parent's morality. The former convince the teen that achievement in school is only for nerds and self-indulgent people, while the parent views academic achievement as a stepping stone in their kid's life. The crucial thing that parents can do to prevent their children from going down a dark path with peer group is by having a heart to heart conversation with them, asking them to find new friends, and telling them the morality of what's right and what's wrong as parents play an important role in shaping their children for the future.

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