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Dissertation Information for Joan L. Atkinson

NAME:
- Joan L. Atkinson
- (Alias) Joan Atkinson
- (Alias) Joan Lyon Atkinson

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Alabama (USA) (1991)

ADVISORS:
- None

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- None

MPACT Status: Incomplete - Inspected

Title: Levels of family functioning in middle school and young adult literature targeted for censorship

Abstract: "This dissertation addresses the question of whether young adult literature that has been subjected to official censorship characteristically portrays parents and families negatively, as measured by the Beavers-Timberlawn Family Evaluation Scale.

The study consisted of a content analysis of 60 young adult and middle school novels that were targets of censorship attempts somewhere in the United States between 1979 and 1984. The instrument used to determine the extent to which families in challenged books were portrayed as healthy or dysfunctional was the Beavers-Timberlawn Family Evaluation Scale. Each of the 60 books was rated by an average of seven evaluators.

Findings were that a majority of books, 32 or 53%, portrayed families functioning at a healthy level. Twenty-one or 35% depicted dysfunctional families. In seven books or 12%, the level of functioning was indeterminate. The level of family functioning did not appear to be related to the censorship of the books or to the frequency with which a particular book was challenged.

Comparison was then made between the level of family functioning and 12 variables grouped into the categories of family interaction, sex role acculturation, family issues, literary criticism, and demography. Chi-square tests of independence found differences significant at the p $>$.05 level on family interaction and sex role acculturation variables.

On the variable of family interaction, books depicting healthy families without exception portrayed affirming interaction among family members. Half of the books depicting dysfunctional families omitted interaction among family members. In the other half interaction was of a destructive nature, including name-calling and blaming.

On the sex role acculturation variables, sex of author and sex of protagonist, books with male protagonists and books written by male authors were more likely to depict dysfunctional families than books with female protagonists and books written by female authors.

No significant difference was found between the two groups of books on the other variables. These were family issues (structure, religion, sexual content, and language), literary criticism (presence of a second family serving as a foil to the protagonist's family and change in quality of family functioning by the end of the book), and demography (race, socio-economic status, and setting)."

MPACT Scores for Joan L. Atkinson

A = 1
C = 4
A+C = 5
T = 1
G = 1
W = 1
TD = 1
TA = 0
calculated 2009-05-25 19:26:12

Advisors and Advisees Graph

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Students under Joan L. Atkinson

ADVISEES:
- Jamie Campbell Naidoo - University of Alabama (2006)

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- Judith Ellen (Haan) Rodgers - University of Alabama (1998)
- Elizabeth Lane Lawley - University of Alabama (1999)
- William B. Edgar Jr. - University of Alabama (2000)
- Kimbrely Samantha Adams Clark - University of Alabama (2001)