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ERIC Number: ED284210
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 43
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Reader-Responses of Pregnant Adolescents and Teenage Mothers to Young Adult Novels Portraying Protagonists with Problems Similar and Dissimilar to the Readers'.
Poe, Elizabeth Ann
Applying reader response theory, a study explored the responses of 19 pregnant adolescents and teenage mothers to two dissimilar young adult novels, one about teenage pregnancy and one about adolescent alcoholism. Quantitative analysis, using a modified version of the Purves-Rippere (1968) system, and qualitative analysis of written answers to open-ended posttest questions and in-depth interviews, revealed that readers were highly involved with both books, and discussions with participants about the books involved similar topics. The nature of responses to the books, however, differed markedly. Readers sympathized with the alcoholic protagonist and appreciated learning about an unfamiliar situation, but were more intensely involved with the pregnant protagonist, empathizing strongly with her. Participants were able to identify more closely with the various aspects of the story, authoritatively evaluate the work's realism, and critically judge the protagonist's decisions. Because of the vague endings of both stories, participants often speculated about the protagonists' final decisions, but a more significant number projected their own decisions about pregnancy onto the pregnant protagonist. Implications for the study included the ideas that reading such adolescent literature can be valuable for convincing reluctant readers that reading can be enjoyable, but that teachers and librarians must be aware of and prepared for the strong emotional responses adolescents may have to literature that mirrors their own experiences. (JC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A