Awareness of demands and unfairness and the importance of connectedness and security: teenage girls’ lived experiences of their everyday lives

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Sammanfattning

In recent years, a number of studies have demonstrated that stress and mental health problems have increased among adolescents and especially among girls, although little is still known concerning what girls experience in their everyday lives. The aim of this study was to describe the phenomenon of teenage girls’ everyday lives, as experienced by the girls themselves. A phenomenological approach of reflective lifeworld research was used, and the findings are based on eight qualitative interviews with girls aged 13–16 years. The essence of teenage girls’ everyday lives as experienced by the girls themselves can be described as consciousness regarding demands and unfairness and regarding the importance of connectedness and security. The girls are aware of the demands of appearance and success, and they are conscious of the gender differences in school and in the media that affect them. The girls are also conscious about the meaning of connectedness with friends and family, as well as the importance of the security of their confidence in friends and feeling safe where they stay. If teenage girls feel connected and secure, protective factors in the form of manageability and meaningfulness can act as a counterweight to the demands and unfairness of everyday life. For professionals who work with teenage girls, the results from this study can be important in their work to support these girls.

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