My Friends and Me: Friendship and Identity following Acquired Brain Injury in Young People.

Sandra Dowling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Friendship plays an important role in the development of identity in adolescence. Amongst young people who have experienced an acquired brain injury, friendship can be seen as a key site in the reconstruction of identity. This paper draws on research conducted with nine young people all of whom had experienced a life threatening brain injury, in the main following a road traffic accident. The research employed a creative approach to data collection, namely using collage to mediate a narrative method. The paper draws on findings from the study in relation to the interplay between friendship, interpersonal relationships with peers and the redrawing of identity amongst participants. Excerpts from collages and narratives are used to illustrate the paper. Changes in participants’ social world are highlighted in the wake of a diminished social circle, and participants’ description of how they internalise perceived negative interactions in terms of their redrawn sense of self are described.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding Understandings: Child, Youth, Family and Disability.
EditorsKatherine Runswick-Cole, Tillie Curran, Kirsty Lidiard
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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