The influence of near-death and non-near-death experience literature on three suicidal female adolescents in interactive bibliotherapy

1995 1995

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Abstract (summary)

This descriptive case study investigated the influence two types of literature had upon the verbal and non-verbal suicidal behavior of adolescents in interactive bibliotherapy. Specifically, the content analysis investigated the behavior of three female adolescent suicide attempters in interactive bibliotherapeutic discussion sessions who read near-death experience literature and popular novels having adolescent suicidal behavior as the predominant literary motif. This study addressed the following three questions: (1) Does reading Near-Death Experience (NDE) literature or non-Near-Death Experience (non-NDE) literature (popular novels having adolescent suicidal behavior as the predominant literary motif) influence suicidal behavior? (2) Following a suicide attempt, is there a reduction in the suicidal behavior of female adolescents who read both Near-Death Experience literature and non-Near-Death Experience literature? (3) Is there a difference in the reduction of suicidal behavior of female adolescents who read NDE literature as compared to non-NDE literature in interactive bibliotherapeutic discussion sessions?

The subjects in the study were three female adolescents who had recently made a serious and intended fatal suicide attempt, were admitted to a large Bay Area hospital psychiatric ward for evaluation and brief in-patient treatment, then referred to an out-patient Bay Area mental health therapist. Each subject read a pre-assigned book for each of six discussion sessions that focused on feeling-responses resulting from the assigned reading. Each bibliotherapeutic discussion session lasted thirty minutes, was videotaped, and was content analyzed by four independent raters who collected and recorded each subject's verbal and non-verbal behavior on a rating form categorized into three areas. The first two were organized according to the Beck Hopelessness Scale categories of Dark Future (hopelessness/negative expectations about the future) and Bright Future (positive expectations about the future). The third category was those behaviors indicative of depression as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Revised Edition.

The results indicated that all three study questions were affirmed, suggesting that the interactive bibliotherapeutic use of both NDE and non-NDE experience literature may significantly reduce suicidal behavior in the seriously suicidal adolescent.

Indexing (details)

Educational psychology;
Academic guidance counseling;
Womens studies
0525: Educational psychology
0519: Academic guidance counseling
0622: Psychotherapy
0453: Womens studies
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Education; Psychology; girls
The influence of near-death and non-near-death experience literature on three suicidal female adolescents in interactive bibliotherapy
Ferris, James S.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 56/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Hyman, Joan S.
University of San Francisco
University location
United States -- California
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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