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Title: How does reading support resilience? An interdisciplinary narrative study with children and adults
Authors: Brockerhoff-Macdonald, Bettina
Keywords: Reading for pleasure;narrative;resilience;protective factor;coping mechanism
Issue Date: 28-Aug-2017
Abstract: Anecdotal evidence suggests that adults are very much influenced by what they read as children. This interdisciplinary thesis examines the effect that reading books and stories can have to support resilience strategies. It centers on the following research question: How does the reading of text-based narratives (in children’s literature) support the development of resilience in children (ages 10 – 13 years)? In this question, reading refers to recreational reading; narrative refers to a textual story; and resilience refers to the ability of the reader to adapt to situations. This thesis reviews and combines key concepts about how readers engage with narratives and the act of reading. It examines literatures from education, literary theory, reader-response theory, bibliotherapy, human development and library science. Fifteen children between the ages of 10 and 13 years and sixteen adults between the ages of 18 and 91 years were interviewed. Analysis of the data, both thematic and narrative results, indicate that both the act of reading for pleasure and the narrative being read support positive coping strategies (such as self-regulation). Such strategies help to build resilience in human beings. Responses from participants assisted in providing a model of coping skills and positive behaviour. For example, the act of reading itself becomes a recovery mechanism in response to coping with stressful situations. Implications for further research into reading and mood-management and the benefits of re-reading are presented.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Human Studies and Interdisiplinarity - Doctoral Theses

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