Young people have always been regarded as the most susceptible social category to outer influences, especially the ones that imply relishing life in spite of any constraints. Over the past decades, there has been an inexorable rise in crime among youngsters, which I strongly attribute to the influence exerted by their friends, rather than the lack of control by their parents, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, one can emphatically agree that teenagers seek acceptance and a sense of belonging to a group. In order to receive the recognition they so arduously crave, they would need to conform to the practices of that group. Therefore, since most teenagers nowadays commit crimes such as underage drinking, smoking or doing drugs, one who might want to be acknowledged would need to behave accordingly so as not to be expelled or isolated.

Secondly, one’s disobedient and rebellious friends are a constant reminder and representation of their most innate desires. Teenagers naturally have the pervasive urge to unleash their need for adrenaline, adventure and dominance, which is directly opposed to the stifling rules and expectations of the society. In this way, friends who break the mould and strenuously object to society’s expectations would become an embodiment of one’s aspirations and, in the end,  one would succumb to temptation and commit crimes.

Admittedly, highly educated children who have an undistorted perception of reality are not so likely to be influenced by their friends. However, it is inevitable that teenagers would fantasize about being themselves the ones who relish life to the fullest despite any restraints. In some cases, these thoughts would remain theoretical, but in other cases, youngsters would snap and do all the forbidden actions maniacally, regardless of their educational background.

In conclusion, rebellious friends have substantially more influence on one’s criminal behavior than the lack of control by their parents. Not only are they a consistent reminder of what life without rules would be, but they also exert considerable pressure on the other members of the group to act alike. Only when teenagers acknowledge the importance of choosing the right group of friends and learn to control their instincts, will crime among youngsters be diminished.