The role of social environment in acquiring agency in Girls Work

C. Boomkens*, J.W. Metz, R.M.J.D. Schalk, T.M.R.F. Van Regenmortel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Girls Work is a method of professional youth work that support girls in vulnerable circumstances to develop agency (Bandura, 2006). In doing this, girls mediate between who they personally want to be and what is expected of them by their social environment. Currently, youth workers do not know which social environment influence girls, and in what way. This study uses a mixed-method approach; the respondents participated in various Girls Work activities in the Netherlands. The quantitative data were gathered using questionnaires completed by 393 girls and qualitative data were collected using a creative instrument with 14 respondents. Results show that the influence of different social environments on girls' agency takes a different form for girls of different ages. These influences are discussed in full. Youth workers should be aware of the ever-changing role of specific social environments and of the (sometimes contradictory) expectations they have of girls.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104399
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Vulnerable girls
  • Youth work
  • Agency
  • Social environment


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