This study extracted descriptive information and analyzed content in 23 children's books related to military deployment using a coding instrument entitled, “Military Bibliotherapy Coding Instrument for Children's Books,” developed for this study. Additionally, the content from the books was compared to themes found in current research literature. The books were not as racially diverse as the military population. Books for black children are underrepresented with only 8% of books having black characters compared to the 16.9% black population in active duty military service. The most prevalent response to the deployment of a loved one described is sadness with 65% of the books describing this response. Finding ways to keep the main character and the deployed person connected is the most prevalent coping strategy described in the books (82%). A surprising find is that pride in the deployed person's military service is described as a coping strategy in some of the books although it was not found in the research literature. All phases of deployment were described with the exception of reintegration. No books addressed this important phase of deployment. Information from this analysis will assist parents, educators and mental health professionals in selecting books for bibliotherapy use that align with the unique circumstances and characteristics of military children. Information presented will also inform and encourage publishers to seek out and publish books to more adequately meet the demographics and meet the unique experiences faced by military children.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





parent military deployment, stress, family risk, military children, bibliotherapy