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

  • Sandra Dowling
  • Roy McConkey
  • Marlene Sinclair


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 chapter draws on research conducted with nine young people, all of whom had experienced a life-threatening brain injury. The research employed a creative approach to data collection, namely using collage to mediate a narrative method. The chapter 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 chapter. Changes in young peoples’ social world are highlighted in the wake of a diminished social circle. How young people internalise perceived negative interactions in terms of their redrawn sense of self is described.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Dowling
    • 1
  • Roy McConkey
    • 2
  • Marlene Sinclair
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.University of UlsterNorthern IrelandUK

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