Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Kendra J. Garrett

Abstract

The purpose of this research project was to explore how social workers use bibliotherapy with children, and how they consider issues of diversity in their selection of books. A mixed mode survey was sent through email to 270 social workers who work primarily with children. Sixty-eight surveys were completed and the data was analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods. The findings lend support to the widespread use of books as a therapeutic tool, with 99% of respondents reporting that they use books in therapy with children. Participants reported using books for a variety of therapeutic purposes, however, the majority (62%) reported having no formal training in bibliotherapy. Overall, respondents indicated that issues of diversity are taken into account when selecting books for their child clients, however, limited access to quality literature may constitute a barrier to this end. Future research is necessary to learn more about how social workers use books in therapy, the role of diversity in this intervention, and the role of education in preparing social workers to use books effectively in therapeutic settings.

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