Adolescent girls' friendships are often disrupted by conflict and aggressive behaviour. Solving these difficulties is challenging as girls claim that adult intervention can make things worse. What advice would girls themselves give their friends if they were experiencing peer relationship difficulties? This study addressed this question using a narrative perspective, and a participatory action research approach. Seventy-five 14-15-year-old adolescent girls engaged in a series of interactive focus group sessions. A cyclical process of group interviews, discussions and data analysis saw the refinement of the girls' knowledge and the development of 10 key strategies for managing peer conflict. The most highly ranked strategies included: developing a wide circle of friends, having a voice, walking away from conflict, talking individually to peers, and avoiding participating in hurtful behaviours. Acknowledging adolescent girls' knowledge, creativity, and abilities creates an alternative story, enabling them to better manage peer conflict.
- adolescent girls
- narrative research
- participatory action research