Today we’re going to summarize chapter 2 of THE POWER OF PEERS by Leon Shapiro and Leo Bottary. This chapter is entitled, “The Pervasive Nature Of Peer Influence.” Birds of a feather flock together. We’re all in the same boat. Great minds think alike. We have a number of phrases and sayings that speak to the significance of peer influence. Bruce Cleland and his wife, Izzi, found out their 2-year-old daughter had leukemia. The survival rate was 55%. Bruce immersed himself into the world of blood cancer treatments, which led to a deep involvement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Two years later, Bruce’s daughter was in remission. To honor his daughter and show his appreciation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society he rallied 38 people to run the New York City Marathon to raise money. With a few corporate sponsors (but mostly through individual donations), Bruce was able to raise $322,000. That was only after spending 5 months training and preparing. The group gathered regularly at a local restaurant or bar to compare notes and talk about their progress. Everybody was committed to the group and the cause. Because of that mutual support the group succeeded. That 38-member team was just a start. That was the beginning of a successful endurance-sport fundraising program which came to be Team In Training, inspiring over 650,000 participants to achieve their goals and raise $1.3 billion for blood cancer research. That survival rate of 55% is 95% today! Together anything is possible. It Starts When We’re Young Our folks knew the power of peer influence. That’s why they always wanted to know who we’d be with when we left the house. It’s why they wanted to know our friends. In 2005 Gary Ladd, a professor of psychology and human development at Arizona State University, published a book, “Children’s Peer Relations And Social Competence: A Century Of Progress.” Peer relations are more balanced than parent-child relations. As children we’re largely influenced by these relationships. Considerable research has proven that our level of self-confidence and self-efficacy is largely determined by peer influence. As we interact with our peers we learn things about others and ourselves that serve us with greater confidence. Our peers also hold us accountable.