The Influence of Peer Culture on Identity Development in College Students

Journal of College and Character / December 2020

Peer culture is an enduring influence on college student values, beliefs, and behaviors. Among its other functions, it expands or constrains opportunities for the exploration and commitment processes of identity development across domains (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, first-generation student status). It is unlikely that educators can intervene to radically change peer culture, but they can understand how to engage with formal and informal peer cultures to facilitate positive outcomes and minimize negative ones.