International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2005 Special Issue

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"I know they are manipulating me…" Unmasking indirect aggression in an adolescent girls' friendship group: A case study


Jillian Huntley 
School of Education, Flinders University
jillianh@smc.sa.edu.au

Laurence Owens 
School of Education, Flinders University
larry.owens@flinders.edu.au

 

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Abstract

Adolescence marks the beginning of a significant shift away from the world of parental support to the formation of intimate friendships with peers. Developmentally, this is an important time for adolescents as they seek to develop interpersonal skills, share activities and develop a deeper sense of understanding of themselves and others through shared confidences and self-disclosure. This is particularly the case for adolescent girls, who value the intimacy they find in small close-knit friendship groups. However, these groups, due to their intimate structure, can become a breeding ground for conflict including indirect aggression. This paper examines one girl's experience of the hurt and alienation she suffered within her friendship group. An interventionist approach using Narrative Therapy and the practices associated with externalising the problems within her friendship group allowed this girl to reclaim her sense of self and reconstruct new expectations for the inclusion of new friends in her life.

Adolescence, girls, narrative therapy, externalising, indirect aggression

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Huntley, J. and Owens, L. (2006) "I know they are manipulating me…" Unmasking indirect aggression in an adolescent girls' friendship group: A case study. International Education Journal, 7 (4), 514-523.
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