Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This study presents a content analysis of a random sample of 24 young adult fiction books published between 1970-1980 and 1981- 1991, showing the portrayal of obese characters and determining if this portrayal changed over time. Findings concerning obesity were: negative presentations in 79.2%, presence of ridicule in 87 .5% and rejection in 83.3%, obesity shown as a problem to solve by dieting, and a rise of 37.5% in negative portrayals in more recently published books . It is concluded that the idea of "fat acceptance" has not had an effect on young adult fiction and that despite modern society's campaigns against "isms," stereotyping is prevalent in relation to obesity. Application of this study could be made to selection practices and in future writing featuring obese characters.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction


Division of School Library Studies

First Advisor

Barbara R. Safford


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this graduate research paper and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit an email request to Include your name and clearly identify the thesis by full title and author as shown on the work.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 101 pages)