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NCJ Number: 211684 Find in a Library
Title: I'm Stuck as Far as Relationships Go: Dilemmas of Voice in Girls' Dating Relationships
Journal: Child & Youth Services  Volume:26  Issue:2  Dated:2004  Pages:33-52
Author(s): Elizabeth Banister; Sonya Jakubee
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0W9, Canada
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on researchers' relational, feminist, and constructivist perspectives of human development, this study examined the ways girls' managed their identities within dating relationships.
Abstract: The relational perspective holds that adolescent girls' identities develop in interactions with others. The feminist perspective assesses gendered power differentials in social relationships; and constructivist philosophy views dating relationships as molded through negotiation between the parties. In the current study, 40 girls, ages 15-16, participated in 1-hour focus groups at 5 sites from September through December 2001. Each group was composed of eight girls and was facilitated by a female graduate student research assistant. The groups focused on the dynamics and feelings in dating relationships. Field notes recorded observations at each site, including nonverbal communication and details of the informal interactions. Researchers also recorded their own reflections, interpretations, and reactions to participants' accounts and their context. A number of barriers were found to impede girls' in expressing their needs and desires in their romantic relationships. They blamed themselves for their boyfriends' abuse and lack of commitment, and they were reluctant to affirm their own needs and interests in the relationship. Researchers perceived that many of the girls faced an "impossible choice" between compromising their values and needs to maintain a relationship or compromising the relationship to maintain true to their sense of self. The researchers concluded that the girls' dating relationships were dominated by patriarchal and dualistic thinking that undercut healthy decisionmaking. The authors recommend providing supportive environments for adolescent girls where they can reflect upon gendered power differentials in their relationships, so as to facilitate their affirmation of their own identities in the interactions of dating relationships. 47 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Adolescent females; Dating Violence; Gender issues; Self concept
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