The environment, social context, sociocultural context, or milieu, refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It includes the culture that the individual was educated or lives in, and the people and institutions with whom they interact. A person's environment is highly influential. Their environment influences everything from the way a person thinks, what he/she likes/dislikes, and what that person does for recreation. This is especially true of adolescents.

Generally speaking, an adolescent's social environment is everything to them. What their peers and other adolescents think of them is an adolescent's main concern. This problematic, inflated importance of their social status in their environment, an adolescent is easily influenced, which can lead to self-destructive behaviors. If it is the cool thing to do, regardless of whether or not it is self-harming, a teen may choose to display negative behaviors. They may do so, in hopes of pleasing other teens within their environment, or to further avoid scrutiny from their environment's social hierarchy.

In short, an adolescent's environment may have a positive, or negative effect on their lives. Because of this, a teen should surround themselves with an environment made up of positive, fruitful and productive peers.