Divorce is a common event in the United States; an estimated 50% of marriages end in divorce. With so many divorces each year, a substantial number of children are impacted. Divorce can have negative effects socially, behaviorally, emotionally, and academically, in both the short term and the long term. Bibliotherapy is a therapeutic tool centered on the use of books and stories to assist in the understanding and expression of an event. Bibliotherapy has been shown to be effective for children who have experienced similar traumatic events such as loss. Research suggests that bibliotherapy could be a flexible, cost efficient, time efficient, and therapeutically effective intervention for children experiencing divorce. This research project attempted to further understand and identify the perspectives of school psychologists on the selection and use of bibliotherapy for children experiencing divorce in their families. Participants (n=11) discussed their perceptions of 16 preselected children’s divorce books. They also discussed their perceptions on important selection criteria to consider when selecting a book to use with children of divorce. Overarching themes indicated that participants proposed that an effective book individualizes treatment; portrays realistic experiences; includes topics that are practical, comprehensive and multi-dimensional; provides an engaging and interactive story; and addresses and identifies emotions. Future research is recommended to explore the effectiveness of using carefully selected stories in supporting elementary-aged children experiencing parental divorce.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Roberts, Tarryn Elizabeth, "School Psychologists’ Perceptions of Selecting Divorce-Themed Books for Elementary-Aged Children Experiencing Parental Divorce" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 8555.
bibliotherapy, school psychology, divorce, children’s literature, elementary school students