Sooner or later, a majority of young people have to shift from the primary group to the secondary group. Usually the shift is attended by difficulties in adjustment. This is so because contacts in the primary groups are warm, close, and have a sympathetic and sheltering influence while those in the secondary groups are cold, impersonal, and usually cruel and competitive in nature.
The shift from the primary to the secondary group may occur when the family moves from one neighborhood to another. Perhaps the young child leaves his town to enter high school in the provincial capital, or leaves the farm to seek work in the city.
The individual who leaves his home and neighborhood is suddenly exposed to a larger world peopled with strangers. In the smaller world, the child is conditioned to a well regulated behavior. In the larger world, his personality is reshaped, because the secondary group forces him to question the patterns he has formed through group experience. Essentially he may not change much for he remains faithful to the habits, customs, and traditions of his family, neighborhood and community. After the child matures in the primary group he usually moves to a secondary group where he continues to learn to fit better in a social world.
In our modern society group life is continually. The relative influence of the primary group is declining. Slowly but surely, our social participation in secondary groups are increasing. Besides, leaders in some secondary groups attempt to personalize the members to make the individuals more loyal to the group. In urban areas; groups are becoming increasingly more specialized. They are devoted to specific purposes and have activities limited to those purposes.