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This paper proposes a distributed group mobility adaptive (DGMA) clustering algorithm for mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) on the basis of a revised group mobility metric, spatial dependency, which is derived from the linear distance of a node's movement instead of its instantaneous speed and direction. In particular, it is suitable for reflecting group mobility pattern where group partitions and mergence are prevalent behaviors of mobile groups. The proposed clustering scheme aims to form stable clusters by prolonging cluster lifetime and reducing the clustering iterations even in a highly dynamic environment. Simulation results show that the performance of the proposed framework is superior to another widely used clustering approach, the Lowest-ID clustering scheme, in terms of average clusterhead lifetime, average resident time and number of cluster reaffiliations.