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This paper presents an analysis of the behavior of mobile ad hoc networks when group mobility is involved. We propose four different group mobility models and present a mobility pattern generator, called grcmob that we designed to be used with the ns-2 simulator. Using 2k factorial analysis we determine the most representative factors for protocol performance. We then evaluate the performance of a dynamic source routing (DSR) based MANET, using both TCP and UDP data traffic. The results are compared with the classical random waypoint mobility model. It is shown that the number of groups parameter is more important than the number of nodes one and that the impact of the area size is almost negligible. We make also evident that the mix of inter- and intra-group communication has the strongest impact on the performance. Finally, it is evidenced that the presence of groups forces the network topology to be sparser and therefore the probability of network partitions and node disconnections grows.