Author(s)

Gayle FlynnFollow

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Tamika S. Hibbert

Keywords

Bullying, Conflicts, Cultural, Girls of Color, Phenomenology, Relational Aggression

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Other Education

Abstract

This qualitative research study, applying aspects of van Manen’s framework for hermeneutic phenomenological research, was conducted to investigate the narratives of relationally aggressive girls of color. The study focused on nine adolescent girls of color who were ages 14-17 years old and exhibited aggressive/bullying behaviors representing the ethnic groups of Black/African American, Latina/Hispanic American, Native American, and other, which included two or more racial identities combined. The participants completed online protocol writing prompts, participated in open-ended interviews and an observation to gain insight regarding relationally aggressive issues that took place in the participants’ settings. An interpretational approach to the data analysis clarified the meanings of themes and thick descriptions. This approach revealed a multiplicity of subjects that were situated in a socio-cultural context. The striking findings identified patterns of relational connectedness and/or disconnections in the lives of adolescent girls of color and demonstrated how relational aggression and bullying is a precursor to increased violence among these girls. Implications for behavioral education, teacher preparedness programs, educational research, and school conduct policy and practice include the advancement and implementation of culturally and gender responsive tactics to inform various intervention efforts for girls of color.

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