Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


A content analysis was used to examine 19 young adult novels to determine whether single-parent families were realistically portrayed.

Books published between 1985-1989 were selected from "Booklist", "School Library Journal", and "Junior High Library Catalog." Hypotheses dealt with the status of single-parent units and the effect on the parent and the child in making the adjustment to the new family structure. Six of the hypotheses were accepted; seven were rejected. The researcher concluded that young adult fiction was realistically portraying the status of single-adoptive units, the single parent's financial stress and problems in household management, as well as the adolescent's emotional stress, problems in relationships with the other parent, and disapproval of the parent dating. Young adult fiction was not realistically portraying the number of female-headed households and causes for their formation, the single parent's emotional stress, problems in child care, and negative societal attitudes, as well as adolescents acting more mature and having difficulty in school.

Factors that affected the study were problems in the sample, subplots involving single-parent families, and the novels' point of view and theme.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Library Science

First Advisor

Elizabeth Martin


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Date Original


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