Bibliotherapy as a Strategy for Bullying Prevention

  • Kristen Pennycuff Trent
  • Stephanie J. RichardsEmail author


The use of bibliotherapy for bullying prevention is a strategy that educators should consider to meet the increasing demands on classroom instructional time and the need for anti-bullying movements. Using exemplary text with anti-bullying themes during existing read-aloud times allows educators to engage students in critical dialogue and interaction while employing before, during, and after reading strategies. Twenty teachers participated in a mixed methods study. Two weeks before implementation, teachers were asked to complete a pre-survey and to collect anecdotal data on their perceptions and attitudes toward bullying behaviors in the classroom. Participants then entered into a 10-school-day treatment period in which they read one of the provided children’s books each day during their scheduled read-aloud time and engaged students with the Bibliotherapy Reading Guide. After the intervention period, teachers wrote anecdotal notes about their observations of student bullying behaviors. They also completed a second Bullying Behaviors Survey as a posttest. Quantitative analysis of the nine matched pairs of surveys discovered that no concepts related to student behaviors were significant and four areas of teacher perception were familiarity with bullying prevention methods, bibliotherapy strategies, strategies to teach empathy, and confidence in ability to prevent bullying. Qualitative analysis revealed that teachers perceived bibliotherapy to be beneficial for students, to impact their behavior, and to develop empathic behaviors. Teacher participants also reported both confidence in bibliotherapy for bullying prevention and a desire to continue the practice.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristen Pennycuff Trent
    • 1
  • Stephanie J. Richards
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Curriculum and InstructionTennessee Tech UniversityCookevilleUSA

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