Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

BIbliotherapy for all: Using children's literature about loss and grieving to increase awareness, develop coping skills, and build community among elementary school students
by Cleveland, Adrienne S., M.A., Webster University, 2011, 48; 1490023
Abstract (Summary)

Bibliotherapy is a technique in which books are used to help individuals, including children, cope with problems in their lives. While this process is beneficial to individuals or small groups of children dealing with a common problem, there are also benefits to sharing therapeutic texts with larger groups of children in a whole-class setting. These benefits include increasing awareness, developing coping skills, and building community among elementary school students. The purpose of this thesis is to aid teachers and school counselors in identifying texts that will be useful and effective in individual or small group settings as well as whole-class settings. Two evaluation tools were created for the purpose of identifying quality books to be used in the bibliotherapy process. Two school counselors and two elementary school teachers used the tools to evaluate eight texts pertaining to loss (specifically due to death, divorce, military deployment, and incarceration). It was found that certain texts may be more valuable and effective than others when conducting bibliotherapy. There were significant differences in the ratings of the books on each of the four topics; for dealing with divorce the preferred text was Was it the Chocolate Pudding?: A Story for Little Kids about Divorce, for death it was Everett Anderson's Goodbye, for incarceration it was Mama Loves Me From Away and for military deployment it was Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom. While several therapeutic texts were found to be appropriate to use in a whole-class setting, certain texts were found to be more appropriate in an individual or small group setting. The evaluation tools and a list of suggested titles are included to guide professionals in selecting appropriate and effective texts that meet the needs of students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stiles, Deborah A.
School: Webster University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology
Keywords: Bibliotherapy, Books, Community-building, Coping, Grieving, Loss, Therapeutic
Publication Number: 1490023
ISBN: 978-1-124-49763-1
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