Effects of a Bibliotherapy Based Intervention on Literacy, Behaviour and Self-efficacy of Disaffected Adolescents
Rivers, Vivian Lynne
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.
This thesis examines the effects of a Bibliotherapy based intervention on literacy, behaviour, and self-efficacy of disaffected adolescents. This exploratory study sought to understand how the intervention was experienced by disaffected adolescents (RQ1/RQ2) and whether it revealed any changes in their responses to the texts (RQ3). It contributes to the existing knowledge and literature by demonstrating how Bibliotherapy, implemented in an educational context, can be a useful tool in designing an intervention for disaffected students at the secondary level by linking emotional development to development in literacy and overall learning. To begin, the purpose and study aims were to develop an intervention based on the principles of Bibliotherapy in order to address the challenges of literacy and behaviour among disaffected adolescents; to evaluate the various outcomes, which may influence the design or effective implementation of the programme; to revise and make changes based on the evaluation to produce a usable programme. From this, the study aimed to answer the following research questions: how useful is Bibliotherapy and/or its principles as a tool in designing a literacy programme for re-engaging disaffected adolescents? What is the perspective of the students in undertaking the programme in means of the process involved? What changes follow this programme in regards to the improvement of literacy and enhancement of attitude and interest in reading amongst disaffected adolescents? This study used a longitudinal mixed methods approach, taking place over three cohorts (school terms), and involving thirty two Year 9 students from five secondary schools in the United Kingdom. The design and evaluation of the Bibliotherapy intervention was underpinned by both a concurrent triangulation model and action research. The evaluation of the programme involved the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data; therefore, a pragmatic stance to the research was adopted that was positioned as mixed-methods. Qualitative data was analysed using a thematic approach and merged to complement the Quantitative findings offering a more thorough and valid interpretation. The qualitative analysis revealed four overarching themes from the participation in the programme: positive developments in Power Over Learning, Emotional Intelligence, Peer Impact to Learning, and New Reader Identities. The quantitative findings, for the most part, did not reveal any statistically significant changes in reading, self-efficacy, or behaviour; however, there were isolated cases among individual cohorts where the findings did reveal significant changes in fluency, reading, reading difficulty perception, behaviour, and with personal resiliency such as increased optimism, tolerance, and adaptability. This study supports findings from earlier studies suggesting that disaffected adolescents at secondary school levels can benefit from reading and behavioural intervention. It offers new knowledge regarding the effectiveness and use of Bibliotherapy as a tool to design an intervention for re-engagement, social and emotional growth through peer support, development of a deeper understanding of self, and reinforcement of reading skills necessary to achieve literacy.
PhD in Education