Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


The purpose of this literary qualitative content analysis was to analyze current children’s picture books published between 2010 and 2019 and describe the representation of characters with physical disabilities and their significance to the overall plot. The question I sought to answer was: What roles do characters with physical disabilities play in the plots of picture books? This study used a qualitative content analysis approach and a summative analysis of the content, which are grounded upon the inferences drawn from the examination of the topics and themes in the data. Following the eight steps within a qualitative content analysis, 14 picture books were read, evaluated, and analyzed for emerging themes. Themes present in the sample of books included: authentic multidimensional traits, shared interests in relationships between a character with a physical disability and another character, and the desirability of balance between moments of ostracization and opportunities for inclusion. Findings showed characters with physical disabilities were portrayed with multidimensional traits and played a significant role within the plot as seen by their inclusion as a primary character with several humanizing qualities.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Karla Krueger

Second Advisor

Joan Bessman Taylor

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (47 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download