A comparison of two bibliotherapeutic strategies to reduce the fears of young children
The purpose of this study was to compare two bibliotherapeutic strategies (audio-only and audio-visual) as a means of reducing the reported fears of young children. Books and audio-visual materials selected for use were based on content related to young children's fears.The following null hypothesis was tested:There is no significant difference between the mean posttest scores on the Children's Fear Survey Schedule for:1. A group of children 3, 4, and 5 years of age in a selected child care center who have received 4 weeks of biweekly sessions of bibliotherapeutic intervention to reduce fears through hearing selected stories read aloud.2. A group of children 3, 4, and 5 years of age in a selected child care center who have received 4 weeks of biweekly sessions of bibliotherapeutic intervention to reduce fears through an audio-visual mode.3. A comparison group of children 3, 4, and 5 years of age in a selected child care received no intervention.The sample numbered 65 children who completed both significantly different, thus a one-way analysis of variance was used to test the hypothesis.Findings1. Results of the posttest (Children's Fear Survey Schedule) indicated a reduction in fear level by children in both bibliotherapeutic intervention strategies.2. The reduction was most notable in the group receiving bibliotherapy through the audio-only mode.3. Differences between the audio-only group and the comparison group were statistically significant at the .05 level of confidence.Children who participated in bibliotherapy through an audio-visual mode also showed a reduction in fear level but not to a significant degree. Children in the comparison group who received no intervention showed an increase in reported fears.Conclusions and RecommendationsIt would appear that there are beneficial effects of reading aloud to children to reduce children's fears. Further study was recommended in the following areas:Development of a more precise instrument, application of the strategies to different age groups, and analysis of results to identify possible differences between gender of subjects.