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ERIC Number: ED424978
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Relational Strengths in Adolescent Boys.
Chu, Judy
There has been a resurgence of interest in boys' relationships and boys' development which seems to respond, at least in part, to findings about the centrality and protective power of relationships in girls' development. However, few empirical studies have sought to learn from boys about their experiences, and, in particular, the ways in which they engage in, negotiate, and make meaning of their relationships. This presentation outlines preliminary findings from a study which revisited male development from a relational perspective. Based on the premise that all humans, starting at infancy, have a fundamental capacity and desire for interpersonal connection, this study investigated ways in which this capacity and desire evolve and manifest themselves in boys' lives, with a focus on adolescence. Participants in this multi-site study were 67 boys (ages 12-18) attending public and private schools in California and Massachusetts. This study used ethnographic observations and clinical interviews to investigate ways in which boys negotiate their identities, behaviors, and relationships in light of cultural constructions of masculinity. Dyadic, in-depth interviews were also conducted to elicit narratives about ways in which these boys construct their socio-cultural realities and the meanings that these boys ascribe to their own behaviors and relational styles. The central conclusion of the study is that boys possess relational strengths which, although sometimes hidden, can be considered beneficial to their psychological health and development. It is further suggested that researchers and practitioners focus on providing boys with ways to build on the relational strengths that they already have. (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A