ERIC Number: ED451450
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Meaning of the Group: Diverging Perspectives of the Early Adolescent Boys and Girls on Their Peer Groups.
Mirny, Anna I.
A pilot study was conducted with three 8th grade boy and three 8th grade girls to understand their interpretation of the existence of peer groups and their belonging to a specific peer group. The study also attempted to determine whether boys and girls differ in their perceptions of social relationships in school. A literature review was conducted on feminist literature about the relational psychology of adolescent girls; masculinity and boys' peer culture; gender differences in adolescent peer friendship; and adolescent interpersonal competencies as described in developmental psychology. From cross-case conclusions, boys and girls clearly demonstrated different patterns in their perceptions of peer relationships in groups. As for the meaning of being in a peer group, boys and girls differed in that the girls were more concerned about fitting into the group. Both the literature review and pilot study suggested that adolescent boys and girls have different perceptions of peer groups. Boys stated that the group is what they do together. For girls, it is whether they are popular or well-liked. Girls feel more connected and dependent on groups. The importance of qualitative research was stressed in order to help adolescents who have problems with the meaning of peer groups in their lives. (Contains 51 references.) (JDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).