Date of Graduation

Summer 2011

Degree

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

Charlene Berquist

Keywords

adolescent girls, Girls Circle, self-esteem, body image, relationships, narrative theory, relational-cultural theory

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

Currently, adolescent girls suffer from barriers to a healthy development such as low self-esteem, poor body image, disordered eating, depression, acts of physical aggression, and delinquency. The Girls Circle program is a gender-specific program for adolescent girls which promotes a safe setting for girls to develop caring relationships with one another and use authentic voices. This study explored the impact of the Girls Circle process on adolescent girls, specifically focusing on how communication functions to influence self-esteem, perceived body image, social support and relationship building. Additionally this research examined the extent to which girls are satisfied with their participation in the Girls Circle process. A qualitative method was used to collect and analyze data. The study found that girls in Girls Circle battle low self-esteem and poor body image on a day-to-day basis, with peer evaluations and media images being the biggest influences. They also had negative experiences with friends and dating partners prior to attending Girls Circle. Girls Circle was found to improve girls‘ self-esteem, body image, and desire to make friends.

Copyright

© Meaghan Younker

Campus Only

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