Inner-city youth development organizations: The salience of peer ties among early adolescent girls

Academic Article


  • There has been little research on the importance of adolescent–peer relationships in urban youth-development organizations. Focusing on girls ages 10 years old and up at 4 inner-city Boys and Girls Clubs, this exploratory study employed multiple methods; including ethnography (N = 124), and especially, interview and sociometric techniques (n = 17) to examine the salience of peer ties. Findings reveal that compared to school and other neighborhood settings, the youth club is a powerful context for fostering close friendships. Having fun with friends is a key motivation for participation in youth clubs; the availability of activities that enable such interactions affects the implementation of psychoeducational programs. Despite close peer ties, widespread concerns were expressed about betrayal and duplicity. Implications for youth programming and staff development are discussed.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Loder TL; Hirsch BJ
  • Start Page

  • 2
  • End Page

  • 12
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 1