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Meeting at the Crossroads: Women's Psychology and Girls' Development

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For over a century, psychologists have described adolescence as a time of heightened psychological risk for girls. This article explores a relational impasse or crisis of connection that we have observed in girls' lives at adolescence by tracing through time the thoughts and feelings of two 12-year-old girls who were interviewed as part of a 5-year longitudinal study of girls' psychological development. Using a voice-centered relational method, we join the experiences of struggle and resistance at this developmental juncture with the problems that have been seen as central to the psychology of women.
... Finally, for descriptive purposes and to investigate the robustness and generalizability of our results, we also analyzed whether the observed associations differ as a function of youth's sex or ID level. Indeed, research suggests that adolescent girls, due to their stronger social skills (Brown & Gilligan, 1993), may maintain closer and less conflictual relationships with their caregivers (Birch & Ladd, 1997;Hajovsky et al., 2017). However, these sex differences in social skills (Olivier et al., 2021b) and relationship quality (Dubé et al., 2021) are not systematically observed among youth with ID. ...
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This study investigates associations between initial levels and change in the quality of the relationships youth with intellectual disabilities (ID) share with their parents and teachers, and changes in their levels of depression over time. A sample of 395 youth with mild (48.3%) and moderate (51.7%) ID, aged between 11 and 22 (M = 15.69), were recruited in Canada (n = 142) and Australia (n = 253). Youth completed self-report measures of relationship quality and depression twice over a one-year period. Initial levels of warmth (β = − .109) and conflict (β = − .302) predicted decreases in depression. Increases in warmth predicted decreases in depression (β = − .179), while increases in conflict predicted increases in depression (β = .268). Discrepancies between youth relationships with their parents and teachers predicted decreases in depression (βwarmth = − .732; βconflict = − .608).
... / It's a little less general. / But it seems…" are all statements that deflect attention from the fact that Gillian is the person both noting and experiencing a series of socially expected behaviors (Brown & Gilligan, 1992). Not until she completes her reflection with "And we have to remember… " does she insert herself. ...
... Self-silencing is a common, culturally enforced experience further exacerbated by the experience of societal gender-based oppression (Jack 1991(Jack , 1999. Young women face developmental risks (e.g., conformity to rigid gender role expectations, pressure to date boys/men, and development of an other-focused [e.g., partner-focused] identity, to name a few) that may predispose them to greater use of selfsilencing behaviours, especially for relationship maintenance (Brown & Gilligan, 1992;Gilligan, 1982;Gilligan et al., 1990). ...
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Traditional socialization can lead to negative individual and relational outcomes for women including self- silencing and body dissatisfaction. We explored the relationship between these phenomena, particularly whether problematic appearance investment was an explanatory mechanism for body dissatisfaction within a context of self-silencing. Women students (N=116) aged 18-24 completed online surveys. More engagement in all domains of self-silencing was associated with higher body dissatisfaction. Problematic appearance investment mediated three of the four domains (externalized self-perception, care as self- sacrifice, divided self) with the other, silencing the self, directly associated with body dissatisfaction. When young women engaged in more relational self-silencing, they focused on their appearance as more integral to their identity, which predicted higher body dissatisfaction. These findings, based on women without eating disorder diagnoses, demonstrate one specific danger of relational self-silencing for women’s well- being. Encouraging self-affirmation may be a promising strategy to undermine these effects for women who engage in self-silencing.
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This chapter explores the relationship between gender and U.S. children's media selection and usage patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. To undertake this project, we analyzed qualitative and quantitative data provided by 190 children ages nine to 17. We found that our respondents often mentioned their mothers as sources of caregiving, media management, and support during the pandemic, but never explicitly mentioned their fathers’ participation in such tasks. We also noted statistically significant differences by gender in video game and social media use, with boys more likely to report increased use of the former and girls more likely to report increased use of the latter—but did not find statistical significance in other areas of media use by gender. Beyond media, we noted slight differences in how boys and girls reported coping with remote schooling and the loss of face-to-face learning, as well as minor gendered differences in stress reduction and coping, specifically regarding boys’ and girls’ respective use of mindfulness techniques and exercise, which complicates gendered narratives.
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This study investigates the nature of the social interaction profiles observed among youth with intellectual disabilities (ID), defined while considering their relationships with their parents, peers, and teachers, as well as the implication of these profiles for self-esteem, aggressive behaviors, and prosocial behaviors. A sample of 393 youth with mild (48.2%) to moderate (51.8%) levels of ID, aged between 11 and 22 (M = 15.70), was recruited in Canada (n = 141) and Australia (n = 253). Our results revealed four profiles, corresponding to Socially Isolated (23.24%), Socially Integrated (39.83%), Socially Rejected (28.37%) and Socially Connected (8.57%) youth with ID. The socially integrated and connected profiles both presented higher self-esteem, more prosocial behaviors, and less aggressive behaviors than the socially isolated and rejected profiles.
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Esta entrevista faz parte do Dossiê “40 anos de ‘Uma voz diferente’: contribuições, desdobramentos e o legado das ideias de Carol Gilligan (1936-)” da Revista Schème – Revista Eletrônica de Psicologia e Epistemologia Genéticas. Gilligan tornou-se referência mundial para a Psicologia do Desenvolvimento Moral, para os Estudos Feministas e os Estudos de Gênero na década de 1980, depois de publicar, em 1982, o livro Uma voz diferente. No dizer da Harvard University Press, “este é o pequeno livro que começou uma revolução”. Com o passar dos anos, o trabalho inicial de Gilligan também foi ganhando notoriedade e sendo reconhecido por outras áreas do conhecimento, a princípio na Filosofia e no Direito, para depois na Educação, Enfermagem e outras, assim como em vários campos da própria Psicologia. Hoje aos 84 anos, Gilligan é atualmente professora da Universidade de Nova Iorque (2002-atualmente), sendo professora aposentada da Universidade de Harvard (1969-1997), onde conseguiu seu Ph.D. em Psicologia Social em 1964, e lecionado anteriormente na Universidade de Chicago (1965-1966) até ter sido contratada em Harvard. Nesta entrevista, realizada pelo Prof. Matheus Estevão Ferreira da Silva, foram realizadas 17 perguntas, que posteriormente, com o diálogo contínuo em mensagens eletrônicas, expandiram-se para 21 perguntas. Assim, as questões foram enviadas por e-mail dando-lhe o espaço que achasse necessário para respondê-las.
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Social work programmes offer a professional qualification with a primary objective of addressing issues of oppression in society. This furnishes a curriculum that prioritises practice-based social work education, alongside the very structural components that create the oppression of race, gender, age and ethnicity of its citizens. Intersectionality is rarely considered mainstream, with a preference for linear, one-dimensional theory, rather than a multilevel theoretical framework towards anti-oppressive practice. Using an adapted voice-centred relational model, the study examines the intersecting experiences of sex workers in the Republic of Ireland. The findings indicate that sex workers primarily work indoors, hold precarious legal status and are situated in Ireland as a response to global migration and economic necessity. The research argues for a revised (intersecting) critical framework for social work education that challenges current sex-work narratives and policies that reinforce ‘helping relationships’ of surveillance, regulation and the exclusion of sex workers.
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Background As adolescents prioritize friendship in developing their norms and values, it is important that we understand how peer influences drive positive and negative outcomes, particularly academic achievement. For example, adolescents develop perceived norms based on how they believe their peers value school, socializing, working, and volunteering. Objective This study uses multilevel modeling to explore how these peer norms relate to adolescent academic achievement outcomes. Method This study analyzed a large, nationally representative sample from the Educational Longitudinal Study. Results Findings indicated adolescent academic achievement significantly related to peer norms that valued doing well in school, socializing, working, and volunteering; even after controlling for student-level (sex, family socioeconomic status [SES], race/ethnicity, special education eligibility status) and school-level (school type and urbanicity) characteristics. Peer norms that interacted with family SES, student sex, urbanicity, and school type also demonstrated statistical significance in predicting academic achievement. These findings indicate that peer norms relate to high school academic achievement beyond other ecological factors. Conclusions This study conducts a focused exploration on adolescents specific peer norms of valuing working, academics, being social, and volunteering, and highlights the influence perceived peer norms can have in facilitating or inhibiting academic achievement. These findings inform our awareness of the influence perceived peer norms may have on adolescent achievement and may inform future investigations that seek to incorporate perceived peer norms as intervention components aimed at promoting proximal learning opportunities for students.
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This chapter introduces the reader to the main questions, themes, and conclusions of the book. Specifically, it delves into why a gendered developmental examination of second-generation South Asian Muslim American women is needed by giving a review of existing literature. Additionally, it provides sociocultural context and theory that highlight how an intersectional feminist approach that considers multiple aspects of identity can help facilitate a deeper, more nuanced understanding of individual identity trajectories within this simultaneously overlooked and misunderstood population. The chapter then lays out the methodology followed for gathering the information presented in the rest of the book and explains the organization of the book as a whole.KeywordsMuslim AmericanIdentityGenderDevelopmentCultural psychologyFeminism
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The aim of this article was to gain an in-depth understanding of one woman’s experiences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). The analysis presented in this article is grounded in the voice-centred relational or the listening guide (LG) method of narrative analysis developed by Gilligan and colleagues. The LG is an analytical framework that allows for the systematic consideration of the many voices embedded in a person’s story. Analysis illuminates (1) how the religious practice of ‘spiritual baths’ served as a risk factor for the CSA Angela experienced and (2) how the patriarchal family structure and gendered expectations provided the contexts for the perpetration of CSA and the silencing of her voice. Angela speaks of her on-going struggles with her experiences of CSA, a voice which represents her voice of psychological distress. Nonetheless, her coping strategies are understood through her voice of resilience speaking of embracing her Christian faith and the role of motherhood in her journey to resilience. Findings highlight the need for effective safeguarding policies within religious settings, and for social workers to apply cultural sensitivity when working with or planning intervention for Nigerian children who experience CSA.
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As theories of developmental psychology continue to define educational goals and practice, it has become imperative for educators and researchers to scrutinize not only the underlying assumptions of such theories but also the model of adulthood toward which they point. Carol Gilligan examines the limitations of several theories, most notably Kohlberg's stage theory of moral development, and concludes that developmental theory has not given adequate expression to the concerns and experience of women. Through a review of psychological and literary sources, she illustrates the feminine construction of reality. From her own research data, interviews with women contemplating abortion, she then derives an alternative sequence for the development of women's moral judgments. Finally, she argues for an expanded conception of adulthood that would result from the integration of the "feminine voice" into developmental theory.
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Examines sexual abuse of children in the light of the facts that approximately 10% of all women report a childhood sexual experience with a relative and that 1% are victims of father–daughter incest. Incestuous families are seen to represent a pathological exaggeration of traditional patriarchal norms. Common features include extreme paternal dominance, maternal disability, and imposition of a mothering role on the oldest daughter. The incestual relationship has not only been found to begin before puberty and to continue in secrecy for many years, but more than one daughter may be involved. Adult women with a history of incest exhibit a clinical syndrome that includes low self-esteem, difficulty in intimate relationships, and repeated victimization. Measures that improve the general status of women and strengthen the role of mothers within the family are proposed as the best means of long-term prevention. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
In a psychology understood as a relational practice, the process of listening to, interpreting, and speaking about the stories of others is a relational act; such a psychology demands a method that is responsive to different voices and sensitive to the way body, relationships, and culture affect the psyche.