Understanding Girls' Circle as an Intervention on Perceived Social Support, Body Image, Self-Efficacy, Locus of Control, and Self-Esteem

By Steese, Stephanie; Dollette, Maya et al. | Adolescence, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

Understanding Girls' Circle as an Intervention on Perceived Social Support, Body Image, Self-Efficacy, Locus of Control, and Self-Esteem


Steese, Stephanie, Dollette, Maya, Phillips, William, Hossfeld, Elizabeth, Matthews, Gail, Taormina, Giovanna, Adolescence


Adolescent girls face numerous challenges during the transition from childhood to adulthood (Feldman & Eliot, 1990; Gunnar & Collins 1988; Lerner & Foch, 1987). Threats to adolescent females' health and well-being include suicide, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, dieting, eating problems, and eating disorders (Millstein, Petersen, & Nightingale, 1993), Girls are three times more likely than boys to have experienced sexual abuse, a major pathway to delinquency (Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP, 1998). Ten percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003). Female adolescent peer relationships have been the source of numerous books and studies in recent years. Delinquency cases involving girls increased by 83% between 1986 and 1997 (OJJDP). Depression remains disproportionately high among adolescent girls, with about a 2 to 1 ratio of girls to boys (Marcotte, Fortin, Potvin, & Papillon, 2002).

Girls' Circle. The Girls' Circle model, a structured support group for girls from 9 to 18 years of age, integrates relational theory, resiliency practices, and skills training in a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence. It aims to counteract social and interpersonal forces that impede girls' growth and development and has been utilized in a broad spectrum of settings with diverse populations and programs serving girls since 1994. The model intends to respond to recommendations from national organizations, including the National Council on Research for Women (NCRW, 1998), the American Association of University Women (AAUW, 1991), the United Way of the Bay Area (2003), and the OJJDP (1998) that have pointed to the need for gender-relevant programs that allow girls to voice their experiences, develop positive connections, and gain skills to pursue meaningful goals in education, careers, and relationships. While the programs in many youth-serving organizations aim to support girls, few studies demonstrate the efficacy of a gender-specific model to support adolescent girls' development.

Theory. The Girls' Circle model is based upon the relational-cultural model of female psychology, identified and developed by Miller (1991) and further refined in relation to adolescent girls by feminist and relational theorists and scholars (Brown & Gilligan, 1992; Ward, 2000; Jordan, 1991; Leadbeater, & Way, 1996; and others). "Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT) suggests that growth-fostering relationships are a central human necessity and disconnections are the source of psychological problems" according to the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at Wellesley Stone Center, Wellesley Center for Women. The theory views a girl's connections with others as a central organizing feature in her psychological make-up. The quality of these connections determines her overall psychological health, self-image, and relationships. Essential mechanisms of healthy connections include the capacity to voice experience honestly and to receive attentive, empathic listening. Brown and Gilligan (1992) state that "connection and responsive relationships are essential for psychological development" and suggest the critical need for girls to have the opportunity to experience authenticity within relationships with peers and adults, to counter the "crisis of connection" which characterizes adolescent female experience.

Within the relational-cultural theory, the Girls' Circle model aims to increase protective factors and reduce risk factors in adolescent girls, as defined by resiliency researchers such as Benard, (2004). Hallmarks of the development of resiliency in youth are high expectations, caring and support, and meaningful participation within their communities. Positive identification with one's own cultural ethnic, or racial group increases resiliency traits as well (Benard, 2004). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Understanding Girls' Circle as an Intervention on Perceived Social Support, Body Image, Self-Efficacy, Locus of Control, and Self-Esteem
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.