Current Research Related to Young Adult Services, 2000-2005

Compiled by the YALSA Research Committee:


Chair, Melanie Kimball, Buffalo, NY

Jennifer Branch, Edmonton, Alberta

Robyn Doppke-Jones, Pensacola, FL

Bridgid Fennell, Glendale, CA

Jami Jones, Naples, FL

Sara Miller, Atlanta, GA

Sara O’Neal, Houston, TX


Chair, Jami Jones, Greenville, NC

Rosemary Chance, Jacksonville, TX

Randall Enos, Middletown, NY

Brigid Fennell, Glendale, CA

Beth S. Gallaway, Waltham, MA

Robyn Doppke-Jones, Pensacola, FL

Rachelle Marie Ramsey, Huber Heights, OH

Recognizing how imperative it is for librarians who work with young adults to stay abreast of current research, in 2001 the YALSA Research Committee published an
annotated bibliography of research related to young adult services. The items cited in that bibliography covered articles, book chapters, master’s theses, and dissertations published between 1995-1999. The current supplement includes items from 2000-2005. As in the first article, weight was given to research that had direct implications for young adult services; for instance, research that related only to children and not young adults was not included.

The articles are listed under six subject headings: 1)
information seeking, 2)
intellectual freedom, 3)
the Internet and other electronic resources, 4)
public and school library services, 5)
young adult literature, and 6)
young adults and reading. In the previous 2001 bibliography, there was a section on ethnic, gender, and cultural issues. This section has been incorporated into the sections on young adult literature and young adults and reading.

You may access the original article

Information Seeking

Agosto, Denise E. 2002. Bounded rationality and satisficing in young people's Web-based decision making. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 53:1 (January): 16-27.

This study investigated Simon's behavioral decision-making theories of bounded rationality and satisficing in relation to young people's decision making in the World Wide Web, and considered the role of personal preferences in Web-based decisions. It employed a qualitative research methodology involving group interviews with 22 adolescent females. Data analysis revealed that the study participants did operate within the limits of bounded rationality. These limits took the form of time constraints, information overload, and physical constraints. Data analysis also uncovered two major satisficing behaviors - reduction and termination. Personal preference was found to play a major role in Web site evaluation in the areas of graphic/multimedia and subject content preferences. This study has related implications for Web site designers and for adult intermediaries who work with young people and the Web.

Agosto, Denise E. and Sandra Huges-Hassell. 2005. People, places, and questions: An investigation of the everyday life information-seeking behaviors of urban young adults. Library & Information Science Research 27: 2: 141-163.

This article presents preliminary findings on the everyday information-seeking behaviors of urban you adults. The results indicate that these young adults prefer gather information from people. The also hold an unfavorable view of libraries and librarians. The article contains a list of questions that librarians should consider when designing programs and services for urban teens.

Barranoik, Lois. 2001. Research success with senior high students. School Libraries Worldwide 7:1 (January): 28-45.

Barranoik seeks to identify factors that motivate students to complete successfully assigned research projects. Information was collected through student journals, interviews with students and teachers, and observation. Preliminary findings identified access to information, task perception and understanding, the research purpose, and time as factors that increase student completion of research and the development of confidence in their ability to create meaning. This work adds the important component of students experience and voice to earlier research concerning motivation and student information literacy.

Bilal, Dania. 2000. Children’s use of the Yahooligans! Web search engine: I. Cognitive, physical, and affective behaviors on fact-based search tasks. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 51:7 (May): 646-665.

This study reports on the first part of a research project that investigated children’s cognitive, affective, and physical behaviors as they use the Yahooligans! Search engine to find information on a specific search task. Twenty-two seventh-graders in a Knoxville, TN middle school science class participated in the study. Their cognitive and physical behaviors were captured using Lotus ScreenCam, a Windows-based software package that captures and replays activities recorded in Web browsers, such as Netscape. Their affective states were captured via a one-on-one exit interview. A new measure call "Web Traversal Measure" was developed to measure children’s "weighted" traversal effectiveness and efficiency scores, as well as their quality moves in Yahooligans! Children’s prior experience in using the Internet/Web and their knowledge of the Yahooligans! interface were gathered via a questionnaire. The findings provided insight into children’s behaviors and success, as their weighted traversal effectiveness and efficiency scores, as well as quality moves. Implications for user training and system design are discussed.

Bilal, Dania. 2001. Children’s use of Yahooligans! Web search engine: II. Cognitive and physical behaviors on research tasks. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 52:2 (January 15): 118-136.

This study reports the results of Part II of a research project that investigated the cognitive and physical behaviors of middle school students in using Yahooligans! Seventeen students in the seventh grade searched Yahooligans! to locate relevant information for an assigned research task. Sixty-nine percent partially succeeded, while 31% failed. Children had difficulty completing the task mainly because they lacked an adequate level of research skills and approached the task by seeking specific answers. Children's cognitive and physical behaviors varied by success levels. Similarities and differences in children's cognitive and physical behaviors were found between the research task and the fact-based task they performed in the previous study. The present study considers the impact of prior experience in using the Web, domain knowledge, topic knowledge, and reading ability on children's success. It reports the overall patterns of children's behaviors, including searching and browsing moves, backtracking and looping moves, and navigational styles, as well as the time taken to complete the research task. Children expressed their information needs and provided recommendations for improving the interface design of Yahooligans! Implications for formal Web training and system design improvements are discussed.

Bilal, Dania. 2002a. Children’s use of the Yahooligans! Web search engine: III. Cognitive and physical behaviors on fully self-generated search tasks. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 53:13 (November): 1170-1183.

This article presents the third part of a research project that investigated the information-seeking behavior and success of seventh-grade science children in using the Yahooligans! Web search engine/directory. In parts 1 and 2, children performed fully assigned tasks to pursue in the engine. In the present study, children generated their tasks fully. Children's information seeking was captured from the cognitive, physical, and affective perspectives using both quantitative and qualitative inquiry methods. Their information-seeking behavior and success on the fully self-generated task was compared to the behavior and success they exhibited in the two fully assigned tasks. Children were more successful on the fully self-generated task than the two fully assigned tasks. Children preferred the fully self-generated task to the two fully assigned tasks due to their ability to find the information sought and satisfaction with search results rather than the nature of the task in itself (i.e., self-generated aspect). Children were more successful when they browsed than when they searched by keyword on the three tasks. Yahooligans! design, especially its poor keyword searching, contributed to the breakdowns children experienced. Implications for system design improvement and Web training are discussed.

Bilal, Dania. 2002b. Perspectives on children’s navigation of the World Wide Web: Does the type of search task make a difference? Online Information Review, 26:2: 108-117.

This article reports the key findings of a three-part research project that examined the information seeking behavior and success of 22 seventh grade science students in using the Web. Children used the Yahooligans! search engine/directory to locate information for three different types of search tasks: one assigned fact-finding task, one assigned research-oriented task, and one fully self-generated task. Children's information-seeking behavior was studied from the cognitive, affective, and physical perspectives. Both quantitative and qualitative inquiry methods were employed to collect the data. Children's behavior and success were compared on the three tasks. Children were more successful on the fully self-generated task than the fact-based and the research-oriented tasks. Children experienced difficulty in using Yahooligans! Their inadequate knowledge of how to use the engine, their poor level of research skills, as well as the poor structure of Yahooligans! keyword searching all surfaced as problems. Implications for Web training and system design improvements are provided.

Branch, Jennifer L. 2000. Investigating the information-seeking processes of adolescents: The value of using Think Alouds and Think Afters. Library & Information Science Research 22: 371-392.

Five participants completed retrospective and concurrent verbal protocols (called "Think Afters" and "Think Alouds") to evaluate the information-seeking processes of 12-15 year old students using Microsoft Encarta 98. After a short training session in the Think Aloud Method, they completed four activities of differing complexity. The data provided support for the use of verbal protocol analysis to uncover information-seeking processes of these students. The amount of data generated during Think Alouds and Think Afters depended on the difficulty of the questions and the number of "dead ends" encountered by the students. The Think Alouds and Think Afters provided data about the behavioral, cognitive and affective processes. Think Afters provide different data than the Think Alouds, and both are very important to understanding how adolescents interact with CD-ROM encyclopedias. Participants were able to find the answer to each of the four search activity questions but used a variety of search terms, categories and strategies. Some participants reached a level of frustration after a number of "dead ends" and needed encouragement from the researcher. Frustration was more apparent in the younger participants. Effective reading strategies are very important to locating and evaluating information in CD-ROM encyclopedias.

Branch, Jennifer L. 2001a. Digital literacy for electronic encyclopedias. In Peter Hughes and Linda Selby, Inspiring connections: Learning, libraries, and literacy. Proceedings of the fifth annual forum on research in school librarianship (pp.54-64). Seattle, WA: International Association of School Librarianship.

The purpose of this research was to examine the information-seeking processes employed by junior high school students from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada when using CD-ROM encyclopedias. The study revealed that participants needed both instruction and practice to develop the skills and strategies needed for full-text searching of CD-ROM encyclopedias. The participants tended to use search terms only from the original question, had difficulty selecting topics and articles from the retrieved list, and did not read long articles as carefully as short articles. Instruction related to information-seeking skills and strategies should focus on generating search terms, selecting topics from a retrieved list, and, skimming and scanning through text to find the answer.

Branch, Jennifer L. 2001b. Junior high students and Think Alouds: Generating information-seeking process data using concurrent verbal protocols. Library & Information Science Research, 23: 107-122.

Twelve participants completed over 140 concurrent verbal protocols (called "Think Alouds") as they searched for information using two CD-ROM encyclopedias. The ability to generate Think Alouds varied among the participants. The 2200 statements were coded as defining, planning, monitoring or evaluating. All participants made a majority of defining statements but the number of planning and monitoring statements varied among participants. It was found that some participants were in the acquisition phase, a phase where people are less likely to be able to do and think about the task at the same time. Other participants were able to plan and ask questions, characteristic of the consolidation phase. In some instances participants exhibited consultation phase skills characterized by the ability to perform skills, plan an approach, and discuss difficulties and problems with themselves. Researchers need to be conscious of levels of self-direction so that the most complete Think Aloud data can be gathered from participants.

Branch, Jennifer L. 2003. Instructional intervention is the key: Supporting adolescent information seeking. School Libraries Worldwide, 9:2 (July): 47-61.

This research sought to examine the information seeking processed employed by Canadian junior high school students from Inuvik, Northwest Territories and Beaumont, Alberta when using CD-ROM encyclopedias and when completing inquiry-based learning activities. The first study revealed that participants needed both instruction and practice to develop the skills and strategies needed for full-text searching of CD-ROM encyclopedias. The participants tended to use search terms only from the original question, had difficulty selecting topics and articles from the retrieved list, and did not read long articles as carefully as short articles. The second study revealed that students needed support throughout the inquiry-based learning experience and that using Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process model as a guide for affective stages was useful. Participants needed time to explore, discuss, and read before finding a focus for their inquiry. Both studies found that participants wanted time to talk and discuss and that instruction was important to help students move forward in their search and learning.

Chelton, Mary K. and Collen Cool, Ed. 2004. Youth information-seeking behavior: Theories, models, and issues. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow.

This title contains 14 articles about various aspects of youth information seeking behaviors and processes.

Dresang, Eliza T., Melissa Gross and Leslie E. Holt. 2003. Project CATE: Using outcome measures to assess school-age children's use of technology in urban public libraries: A collaborative research process. Library & Information Science Research, 25: 19-43.

Although outcome-based evaluation was routine in governmental and nonprofit agencies by 2002, it had not been systematically applied to the evaluation of children's services in public libraries. At the same time, digital technology had grown commonplace in public libraries, with 94.5% of libraries providing Internet access to the public in the year 2000. This article examines various definitions and models of outcome-based evaluation; describes the lack of knowledge regarding children's use of technology in public libraries, despite their majority status among users; and presents an original outcome-based evaluation model (the Project CATE model) developed to assess this use. Although this unique, dynamic, and interactive evaluation research model was a collaborative effort between the Saint Louis Public Library and the Florida State University School of Information Studies, it is designed to be transportable and applicable in a wide variety of assessment situations.

Griffiths, Jullian R. and Peter Brophy. 2005. Student searching behavior and the Web: Use of academic resources and Google. Library Trends 53: 4 (Spring): 539-554.

Two studies of search engine use were conducted to evaluate the United Kingdom’s national academic sector digital information services and projects. The researchers found that college students prefer to locate information using a search engine - Google being the most popular. The researchers also found that students’ use of academic resources is low and they have difficulty locating information. Their use of search engines influences perception and expectations of other electronic resources.

Hamer, Judah S. 2003. Coming-out: Gay males’ information seeking. School Libraries Worldwide 9:2 (July): 73-89.

This inquiry, undertaken in New Brunswick, New Jersey, examines information-seeking of young gay males about coming-out, taking a social constructionist perspective on gay identity. The investigation uses data collected from critical incident techniques interviews in which these young men related their information needs, information-seeking activities, and the conditions of these activities. Findings show that they typically encountered three types of information needs: self-labeling, consequences for self-identifying as gay, and forming an understanding of a gay identity. Participants’ information-seeking typically involved interacting with young gay adults through online forums. However, they also experienced a period when they did not pursue their information needs about coming-out. Conditions most strongly characterizing information-seeking were the experience of fear and the concealment of information-seeking activities. These findings are considered in association with Chatman’s (1996) Theory of Information Poverty. The discussion of the findings also proposes directions for future research and provision of information.

Hultgren, Frances and Louise Limberg. 2003. A study of research on children’s information behaviour in a school context. New Review of Information Behaviour Research 4:1 (December): 1-15.

This study examined research bearing on the relationship between information seeking and use and learning in a school context. The results indicate that little research has focused specifically on the relationship between information seeking and use and learning outcomes, although all research taken up in the study elucidates aspects that touch upon the relationship. Taken together, research shows that a strong relationship exists between schoolchildren's understanding of information seeking and use, the nature of school assignments, the quality of access tools and children's experience and knowledge of them. It seems likely that this relationship in turn influences learning outcomes and that further exploration would deepen our understanding.

Large, Andrew, Jamshid Beheshti, and Tarjin Rahman. 2002a. Design criteria for children's Web portals: The users speak out. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 53:2 (January 15): 79-94.

Four focus groups were held with young Web users ages 10 to 13 to explore design criteria for Web portals. The focus group participants commented upon four existing portals designed with young users in mind: Ask Jeeves for Kids, KidsClick, Lycos Zone, and Yahooligans! This article reports their first impressions on using these portals, likes and dislikes, and suggestions for improvements. Design criteria for children's Web portals are elaborated based upon these comments under four headings: portal goals, visual design, information architecture, and personalization. An ideal portal should cater to both educational and entertainment needs, use attractive screen designs based on effective use of color, graphics, and animation, provide both keyword search facilities and browsable subject categories, and allow individual user personalization in areas such as color and graphics.

Large, Andrew, Jamshid Beheshti, and Tarjin Rahman. 2002b. Gender differences in collaborative Web searching behavior: an elementary school study. Information Processing and Management 38:3 (May): 427-43.

This paper reports the results of an empirical study into gender differences in collaborative Web searching, conducted in a grade-six classroom of a Canadian elementary school. Searches undertaken by 16 same-sex groups of two or three students (six of boys, ten of girls) for information to support a class assignment were captured on videotape. The multiple search sessions took place over several weeks. An analysis of the search sessions reveals that the groups of boys formulated queries comprising fewer keywords than the groups of girls, the boys spent less time on individual pages than the girls, the boys clicked more hypertext links per minute than the girls, and in general were more active while online. The study demonstrates academic, affective and behavior differences between grade-six boys and girls working in same-sex groups on a Web-based class project.

Shenton, Andrew K. and Pat Dixon. 2003. A comparison of youngsters’ use of CD-ROM and the Internet as information resources. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 54:11 (September): 1029-1049.

This research compared youngsters' use of CD-ROM and the Internet for information-seeking purposes. The strategies employed to exploit each form of information resource were essentially similar. No attempts were reported to check the credibility of any information retrieved from electronic sources. The Internet was, however, used more frequently beyond the informants' own homes than was CD-ROM. There was also greater employment of the Internet by adults acting on the youngsters' behalf. As Internet use for school purposes rose in accordance with age, CD-ROM use declined. When youngsters compared the two resources as information-seeking tools, CD-ROM software was criticized for its lack of detailed material and the Internet for the problems in locating what was desired. Project findings have implications in a range of areas, including the marketing of CD-ROM packages, research and development and practices within schools.

Shenton, Andrew K. 2004. Young people’s use of paper serials: The results of a recent research project in England. Serials Librarian 47: 3: 45 – 57.

The study found that children and teens infrequently use serials for academic work; however, they are more likely to use serials to meet recreational needs. The findings of this study have implications for information skills teaching and the treatment of serials in libraries.

Shenton, Andrew K. and Pat Dixon. 2004. Issues arising from youngsters' information-seeking behavior. Library & Information Science Research 26: 2: 177-2000..

Much of the research on the information-seeking behavior of young people has examined either the degree to which they use particular providers or the manner in which they exploit such sources or materials. Considerably less attention has focused on the identification of generic characteristics that relate to the use of a range of information sources. A recent qualitative research project undertaken in England has revealed that a variety of patterns appear to emerge even when sources of different types are used. Many of the recurring features of user behavior reflect attempts by youngsters to simplify the task of information seeking and reduce the effort expended.

Sonnenwald, Diane H., Barbara M. Wildemuth and Gary L. Harmon. 2001. A research method to investigate information seeking using the concept of information horizons: An example from a study of lower socioeconomic students' information seeking behavior. New Review of Information Behavior Research 2: 65-86.

This paper presents an emerging research method, the creation and analysis of information horizon maps, and discusses the use of such maps in an ongoing research study. Sonnenwald’s (1999) framework for human information behavior provides a theoretical foundation for this method. This theoretical framework suggests that within a context and situation is an ‘information horizon’ in which we can act. Study participants are asked to describe several recent information seeking situations for a particular context, and to draw a map of their information horizon, graphically representing the information resources (including people) they typically access in this context and their preferences for the resources accessed. The resulting graphical representation of their information horizons are analyzed in conjunction with the interview data using a variety of techniques derived from social network analysis and content analysis. In this paper these techniques are described and illustrated using examples from an ongoing study of the information seeking behavior of lower socio-economic students. They are then compared to other techniques that could be used to gather data about people’s information seeking behavior.

Tarleton, Beth and Linda Ward. (2005). Changes and choices: Finding out what information young people with learning disabilities, their parents and supporters need at transition. British Journal of Learning Disabilities 33: 2 (June): 70-76.

This article provides an overview of the methods and findings of a project, commissioned by the British Social Care Institute for Excellence, to explore the information needs of young people with learning disabilities, their families and supporters at transition. Young people with learning disabilities wanted information about getting a job, going to college, and transitioning in general. Key issues in providing information at transition to the different stakeholders are outlined.

Todd, Ross J. 2003. Adolescents of the information age: Patterns of information seeking and use, and implications for information professionals. School Libraries Worldwide 9:2 (July): 27-46.

This article provides an overview of the field of human information behavior as it shapes and affects the provision of quality information services and products to children and adolescents. It is a diverse, dynamic, and complex field and one shaped by many situational, personal, social and organizational factors. This review sets the theme for this issue’s focus on adolescents’ information seeking and use. It briefly explores some of the key themes, theories, and challenges and explores how these shape the professional responsibilities and actions of school librarians.

Todd, Ross J. and Carol Kuhlthau. 2005. Student learning through Ohio school libraries, part 1: How effective school libraries help students. School Libraries Worldwide 11: 1 (January): 63 – 88.

This article provides an overview of a research study undertaken from October 2002 through December 2003, which involved 39 effective school libraries across Ohio; the participants included 13,123 students in grades 3 to 12 and 879 faculty. The focus question of the study was: How do school libraries help students with their learning in and away from school? The findings, both quantitative and qualitative, show that effective school libraries help students by playing an active rather than passive role in students' learning. The study shows that an effective school library is not just informational, but transformational and formational, leading to knowledge creation, knowledge production, knowledge dissemination, and knowledge use, as well as the development of information values.

Weiler, A. 2005. Information-seeking behavior in Generation Y students: Motivation, critical thinking, and learning theory. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 31: 1 (January): 46-53.

Research in information-seeking behavior, motivation, critical thinking, and learning theory was explored and compared in this study to identify motivating factors behind students’ dependence on television and the Internet for their information needs. The research indicates that only a very small percentage of the Generation Y students prefer to learn by reading.

Yitzhaki, Moshe and Mihal Bibi. 2001. Patterns of information seeking among Israeli 12th grade high school students writing final research. In Peter Hughes & Linda Selby, Inspiring connections: Learning, libraries, and literacy. Proceedings of the fifth annual forum on research in school librarianship (pp.248-65). Seattle, WA: International Association of School Librarianship.

The purpose of the study was to examine areas of interest and information seeking patterns of Israeli 12th graders who engage in research for a final paper leading to matriculation . A detailed questionnaire, based on former studies was disseminated in high schools all over the country, yielding 200 usable questionnaires. Most respondents reported receiving little or no advice and guidance regarding the library and database searching. In summation, although most students were aware of powerful new IT tools, their use is not a prevalent as may be assumed, mainly due to poor or inadequate guidance.

Intellectual Freedom

Adams, Helen R. 2002. Privacy & confidentiality: Now more than ever, youngsters need to keep their library use under wraps. American Libraries 33: 10 (November): 44-48.

Adams interviewed school library media specialists and youth services librarians nationwide to understand the privacy issues affecting their patrons and how librarians can help protect young adults’ privacy. She recommends ways for librarians to become educated about privacy and intellectual freedom issues regarding minors.

Alexander, Jacqueline and Ann Sommer. 2004. High school students and intellectual freedom: Making choices in the real world. Ed.Sp. Thesis, Central Missouri State University.

This study examined intellectual freedom in high schools by gathering data on the nature of students’ access to information resources. Surveys were sent to 100 library media specialists in Missouri. Interviews were also conducted to further discern the educational strategies used by library media specialists to encourage students to seek out information and evaluate what is found. The results of the study conclude that even though barriers exist between students and information access, students are still encouraged and are able to exercise their intellectual freedom and access information with the full support of faculty and administrators.

Coley, Ken P. 2002. Moving toward a method to test for self-censorship by school library media specialists. School Library Media Research 5. (E-journal link).

This study posed the research question "whether SLMSs engage in self-censorship as part of the collection development process with regard to YA literature having content that significantly increases the probability the materials will be challenged." The author selected a group of twenty young adult books deemed as potential targets of challenges. The books were checked against titles listed in the online catalogs of one hundred randomly selected Texas high school libraries to see how many were included in each library’s collection. Based on the assumption that a library containing 50% of the titles on the list was not engaging in self-censorship, the study determined that eighty-two percent of the high school librarians selected to participate in the study engaged in self-censorship. Findings indicate that the smaller the size of the library, the more likely that it would not own controversial books.

Curry, Ann. 2001. Where is Judy Blume? Controversial fiction for older children and young adults. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries 14:3 (Spring): 28-37.

Curry’s study examines the placement of controversial fiction for older children and teens (ages 10-17) in public library collections. She builds upon earlier studies that evaluated the trend among public libraries to relocate controversial fiction for this age group to other areas in the library, such as moving an item from the children’s collection to the teen collection, the teen collection to the adult collection and from the adult collection to closed stacks or reference. Curry conducted a quantitative study of the location of challenged titles for older children and teens in the public libraries of British Columbia. She compiled a list of the most commonly challenged young adult and children’s fiction and evaluated where the libraries placed these titles. Her findings indicate that the libraries with children’s and teen/YA collections placed 15% of the controversial fiction titles for older children or teens in the adult collection. Furthermore, books written before 1985 had a greater likelihood of being "mis-shelved". Curry concludes the study by identifying subject matter in fiction titles for older children and teens that is likely to be challenged: profanity, sexuality, witchcraft, violence or horror, rebellion, racism or sexism, suicide or death, crime, crude behavior and themes that are too depressing or negative for the intended audience.

MacRae, Cathi Dunn. 2000. YA radar: Youth experts screen the teen climate at the dawn of 2000. Voice of Youth Advocates 22: 6 (February): 384-387.

VOYA surveyed persons who work with young adults to identify which youth issues were the most pressing at the beginning of the 21st century. Public and school librarians, teachers, and authors responded. Under "Intellectual Freedom," Internet filtering was the "hottest" issue with book censorship also deemed important. Other important issues included Web sites for youth, youth violence, school safety, and reading and writing proficiency.

The Internet and other Electronic Resources

Berson, Ilene R. and Michael J. Berson. 2005. Challenging online behaviors of youth: Findings from a comparative analysis of young people in the United States and New Zealand. Social Science Computer Review 23: 1: 29 – 38.

A comparative analysis of online behaviors of adolescent girls in the United States and New Zealand was conducted which indicated that girls participate in risky online behaviors such as giving out personal information. The need exists to develop prevention awareness initiatives to create a safe online environment.

Callison, Daniel. 2004. Digital divide. School Library Media Activities Monthly 20: 6 (February): 37-40, 51.

A review of recent research suggests that although the digital divide has narrowed in some areas, new gaps are emerging and expanding. Surveys reveal that there is a generational digital divide and a growing digital divide between college students and their professors.

Ebersole, Samuel E. 2005. On their own: Students’ academic use of the commercialized Web. Library Trends 53: 4 (Spring): 530-538.

This article reviews research conducted in 1998-1999, which examines students’ perceptions and use of the World Wide Web for academic purposes. Students’ use has been hampered by their inability to find information they are seeking. The author concludes that students need support to be successful online searchers.

Ellingham, Shea B. 2003. Internet lifestyles: Teens and on-line experience. Master’s thesis, University of Calgary (Canada).

Ellingham found that teens see the computer as "an extension of their social worlds" rather than simply as a tool. Their online lifestyle helps them to tackle problems in innovative and creative ways and to "extend themselves beyond the boundaries of the home."

Gross, Elisheva F. 2004. Adolescent Internet use: What we expect, what teens report. Applied Developmental Psychology 25: 6 (November/December): 633-649.

Gross examines stereotypes and assumptions about teen internet use in the last ten years, which he contrasts with findings from a previous study of 261 students conducted in 2000/2001. The author concludes that online activities of adolescent boys’ and girls’ are more similar than different.

Gross, Elisheva F., Gaana Juvonen, and Shelly L. Gable. 2002. Internet Use and well being in adolescence. Journal of Social Issues 58:1 (Spring): 75-91.

For this research study, 7th graders from a middle-class public school in California completed surveys that measured their well-being and Internet use. Researchers found that these teens spent most of their after-school time on traditional activities such as sports and hanging out. For them, communicating online is simply another means of fostering social interaction.

Katunzi, K.R.U. 2004. An examination of the patterns of access and use of the Internet by youth: The case of Dar es Salaam region. University of Dar es Salaam Library Journal 6: 1: 29–43.

The author investigated the patterns of access and the use of the Internet by youth in Dar es Salaam. He found that the Internet is mainly used as a communication and entertainment tool. The research participants use the Internet because it is an easy, cheap and quick means to communicate, provides easy access to academic materials, and is helpful in business. On the negative side, the Internet offers direct exposure to pornography, criminal networks and prostitution sites and can lead to Internet addiction. The author calls for a clear national policy to guide the development of the Internet industry in Tanzania.

Koo, Malcolm and Harvey Skinner. 2005. Challenges of Internet recruitment: A case study with disappointing results. Journal of Medical Internet Research 7:1 (January): NP.

The researchers used Internet technologies such as email, electronic discussion boards, Usenet forums, and Web sites to recruit youth to evaluate a smoking cessation web site. In this study, these technologies were found not to be effective in recruiting adolescents.

Pew Internet and American Life. 2005.
Protecting Teens Online. Nov 14, 2005.

This telephone survey of 1,100 parent/child pairs revealed that although 65% of these households had Internet filters, over 80% of respondents (both teens and parents) think that teens are doing things online that parents wouldn't approve.

Sutton, Lynn. 2004.
Experiences of High School Students Conducting Term Paper Research Using Filtered Internet Access. October 8, 2005.

Sutton's research study of student perception of conducting research in a filtered environment found that 12 out of 14 students interviewed felt filters were a hindrance to doing Internet research. Internet filters, installed in 90% of schools, prevent students from accessing legitimate information. Lack of communication between students, teachers, staff and administration results in frustration over needlessly blocked sites.

Public and School Library Services

Anderson, Sheila B. and John P. Bradford. 2001. State-level commitment to public library services for young adults: Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA Research Grant results. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries 14: 3 (Spring): 23-27.

State youth services consultants and state library associations were surveyed to determine how well their state supports library services for young adults. The authors found no systemic regional differences in the presence of young adult YA librarian organizations, standards, book awards or consultants. Most had organizations for YA librarians, some had book awards, few had professional standards for YA librarianship. Most states did not have consultants whose sole job was to focus on young adults.

Bishop, Kay and Patricia Bauer. 2002. Attracting young adults to public libraries: Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA Research Grant results. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries 15:2 (Winter): 36-44.

Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, the authors surveyed public librarians, young adult library patrons, and middle and high school students to examine strategies, programs, and services employed by public libraries to attract young adult patrons. Results show that although there was agreement about how to attract young adults to public libraries, there were distinct differences. For instance, in the area of programs and services, librarians did not rank storytelling in the top ten but young adults ranked it sixth. The researchers conclude that librarians should listen to what young adults say they value about the library.

Doll, Carol, Angelina Bendetti, and Barbara A. Carmoday. 2001. Unleashing the power of teenage folklore: Research to investigate the power of storytelling Journal of Youth Services in Libraries 14: 4 (Summer): 35-41.

The authors found that although the literature suggests that storytelling has value, there is little evidence to support this belief. Using a survey instrument that utilized the Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents, researchers worked with groups at three different schools. Although the data did not produce strongly significant results, there was considerable anecdotal evidence that storytelling had a positive effect on students. Overall, the researchers found this study to be "a successful first step in the study of the effect of storytelling on young adults."

Everhart, Nancy L. 2000. School library media specialists’ use of time: A review of the research. School Libraries Worldwide 6: 1 (January): 53-65.

Everhart reviews previous research about the tasks performed by school media specialists and the time allocated to each. She suggests further research on this topic for two reasons. One, the school library is a labor-intensive activity. Research will aid the librarian to spend time in areas that will impact the overall direction of the program. Two, school library instructors can redirect the focus of the curriculum to areas of activity that are the most time intensive.

Henley, Caroline. 2004. Digital reference services for young library users: A comparison of four services. Library Review 53: 1: 30–36.

Henley compared the performance of four digital reference services: Ask Bob; Ask a Librarian; Ask Zach; and IPL Youth Ask a Question. Posing as a 10-year old Scottish student, questions were submitted to each of the four services. She found a varying degree of quality in the services used. The results suggest that improvements in the design of the question interface and services would improve the nature of the these digital reference Web sites. Enhancements would exploit the potential to provide instruction in information searching as well as encourage greater use of the Web.

Hinchliffe, Joseph. Faculty-directed library use instruction: A single class, retrospective study. 2000. Research Strategies 17: 281-289.

This is a retrospective study of a term paper assignment given to students in an intermediate political science class at a major Midwestern university. The term paper assigned amounted to 50 percent of the student’s total course grade. The instructor gave students the option of participating in a special term paper project that required a research plan and research log or completing a traditional term paper with minimal instructor involvement. Both groups received library instruction. The author applied a regression analysis that revealed a strong association between the completion of a research plan and log and the quality of research paper produced. The author concludes that students produce better research papers when instructors examine plans and logs early in the term paper process rather than waiting to look at rough drafts of papers. High school librarians can benefit from this suggestion by collaborating with content area teachers to scrutinize more vigorously student research strategies and plans.

Howrey, Mary M. 2000. A case study of library/community agency coordination and health information partnering practices: The Teen CARE Network (Illinois). Ph.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University.

Using action research methods and a variety of tools to gather data, the author analyzed the partnership between a library and community agency in providing healthcare information to teens. Results showed that use of the Teen CARE Network Web site increased over time, but that participation was lowered in more traditional community health education formats.

Jordan, Joan Hill. 2001. The teachers’ professional collection materials: Stimulating use. Teacher Librarian 29: 2 (December): 18-21.

In a previous article published in June 2000, school librarians, teachers, counselors, and administrators were interviewed about the value of a professional collection in the school library. While librarians believe that professional collections are valuablell, and 68 percent of the teachers, counselors, and administrators thought so too, most of the latter group did not use the school library or school librarians to find educational resources. Jordan recommends that school librarians become proactive to help teachers, counselors, and administrators understand the value of professional resources in the school library.

Levin, Douglas and Sousan Arafeh. 2002.
The digital disconnect: The widening gap between Internet-savvy students and their schools. Pew Internet & American Life. May 9, 2004.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project creates and funds research that explores the impact of the Internet on society. In summer 2002, the organization conducted a qualitative study to investigate the attitudes and behaviors of Internet-using public middle and high school student’s ages 12 to 17 years. Approximately 2000 students were part of the study. Data were gathered using focus groups and online student-written stories. Levin and Arafeh find that 78 percent of the participants use the Internet. Most students prefer searching the Internet over visits to the library when conducting research. The teens cite the following reasons for preferring the Internet: ease of printing, no waiting in line to check out books, resources may be better, and librarians are not helpful. Teens believe the Internet is helpful in navigating their way through school so more time is freed up to learn about topics of personal interest.

Loertscher, David V. and Blanche Woolls. 2002. Teenage users of libraries: A brief overview of the research. Knowledge Quest 30: 5 (May/June): 31-36.

In this review of research, Loertscher and Woolls focus on studies in three target areas affecting teens: reading, information literacy, and use of technology. Librarians wanting to extend their knowledge of young adults will find this article to be a valuable resource. From the review of the research, the authors present the following observations: collections must be built that truly interest teens; librarians and teens must enter into regular discussions about reading, information literacy, the Internet, and other issues in technology; and the human interface between teens and technology is a critical aspect of the librarian’s job.

Machado, Julie, Barbara Lentz, and Rachel Wallace. 2000. A survey of best practices in youth services around the country: A view from one library. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries 13: 2 (Winter): 30-35.

This study looks at three hundred young adult library programs nationwide to uncover best practices. They find evidence that education and tutoring programs, including homework help, are most often cited. Career development programs and cultural and recreational programs are also popular. The authors give details on specific programs they found during their research.

Mikowski, Laura. 2003. Are libraries still uncool to teens? OLA 9: 3 (Fall): 16-17.

Mikowski surveyed teens to understand what they think about their local libraries. Although the twelve survey questions are not tested for reliability or validity, an informal instrument such as this can nevertheless help librarians understand what teens want from their public library.

Shenton, Andrew K. and Pat Dixon. 2002. Youngsters’ use of and attitudes to their school libraries. The School Librarian 50: 4: 176-178.

The purpose of this small study of 144 students in six English schools was to determine the attitudes of children and teens toward school libraries in light of their greater usage of the Internet and electronic resources. Data were collected via focus groups and individual interviews. The authors make several suggestions. One, the profile of the school library needs to be raised so it becomes more relevant to pupils. Two, librarians need to select books that more closely align with assignments and the curriculum. Third, the school library must become more convenient.

Spielberger, Julie, Carol Horton, Lisa Michels and Robert Halpren. 2004.
New of the shelf: Teens in the library – findings from the evaluation of public libraries as partners in youth development. Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. November 14, 2005.

This study reports on findings from the Public Libraries as Partners in Youth Development (PLPYD) Initiative, a 4-year, 9-site project funded by the Wallace Foundation to develop innovative models for public libraries to provide high-quality educational enrichment and career development programs for low-income children and youth. The evaluation reveals that public libraries can be a resource for youth in low-income communities. However, to work intensively with youth requires time, financial resources, dedicated staff, consistent leadership, and alignment of youth program with the library’s core mission and goals. Thus, public libraries need to assess and build their capacity for youth programs and services in a systematic way.

Winston, Mark and Kimberly Lione Paone. 2001. Reference and information services for young adults. Reference & User Services Quarterly 41:1 (Fall): 45-50.

The purpose of this survey of public library services to young adults in New Jersey was to gather information about reference and information services, organizational policies and philosophies, staffing, and the librarians’ perceptions regarding young adults’ information retrieval approaches. Four hundred fifty-four questionnaires were distributed; 256 were returned. For the most part, public library service to young adults remains limited in scope.

The most significant finding is that more than half the responding libraries do not employ anyone whose sole responsibility is working with young adults. The authors suggest that designating a young adult librarian is likely to lead to increased priorities and better service to this population.

Whalen, Samuel P. and Joan Costello. 2002.
Public libraries and youth development: A guide to practice and policy. Chapin Hall Center at the University of Chicago. November 14, 2005.

The authors analyze efforts between public libraries, young adults, and the growing national youth development movement in building a more youth-friendly America. The study examines challenges facing libraries in an age of television and the Internet.

Young Adult Literature


Bean, Thomas W. and Karen Moni. 2003. Developing students’ critical literacy: Exploring identity construction in young adult fiction. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 46:8 (August): 638-648.

Bean and Moni discuss the use of expanded reader’s response to promote literacy and comprehension in classrooms. The authors use a "critical discourse analysis" to engage and interact with students in the United States and Australia. Bean and Moni focus on fiction that will resonate with young urban teens. Their choice of book, the Australian novel Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Zusak, 2000) contains the two elements needed for the critical discourse analysis. These elements assume that "social conditions determine the properties of the discourse" and that "power is distributed unequally." Bean and Moni have developed a strong tool for readers and teachers to discuss and develop the themes that are hidden beneath the words themselves.

Glenn, Wendy Jean. 2001. Alternatives for adolescents: A critical feminist analysis of the novels of Karen Hesse. Ph.D. dissertation, Arizona State University.

A study of eight young adult novels by Hesse is analyzed using a critical feminist theory called authentic realism. The author finds that Hesse "provides alternative gender role models" that gives readers encouragement in making choices "to become the people they wish to be, regardless of patriarchal expectations they may have been taught."

Goodson, Lori Ann Atkins. 2004. Protagonists in young adult literature and their reflection of society. Ph.D. Dissertation, Kansas State University.

This study attempts to answer the following questions: To what extent do the protagonists of recent, popular young adult literature reflect diverse characteristics? To what extent do the protagonists of recent, popular young adult literature reflect diverse approaches to learning, based on Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences? What can we infer about the appeal of recent, young adult literature for a diverse population of contemporary adolescents, based on the traits of the protagonists? Goodson analyzes selected novels from the International Reading Association’s Young Adults’ Choices lists from 1987 through 2003. "Results suggest the typical protagonists in contemporary young adult fiction are overwhelmingly upper/middle-class white girls who are linguistically intelligent." Goodson recommends examining "whether these books appeal to non-reading adolescents."

Patee, Amy. 2004. Mass market mortification: The developmental appropriateness of teen magazines and the embarrassing story standard. The Library Quarterly 74:1 (January): 1-20.

After analyzing the content of selected teen magazines, Patee theorizes about the purpose of "embarrassing" stories to the development of girls’ self-esteem. Teen magazines for girls are effective because they are developmentally appropriate, they create a distinct feminine space, and the text is appropriate to the analytical ability of the adolescent.


Caggia, Peter T. 2001. Identity, destiny and magic: developmental perspectives on major themes in young adult fantasy series. Masters thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This master’s thesis represents a latent content analysis of three contemporary young adult fantasy series to identify common themes. The search for identity was the most common theme of the three series, and secondary themes of destiny and magic were interrelated with the theme of identity. The themes are framed in the developmental models of Erikson and Piaget to compare literature with developmental and psychological benchmarks. The author postulates that by contextualizing common themes in young adult fantasy literature with developmental stages and tasks, librarians and authors may better satisfy the reading preferences of teen readers.

Harris, Marla. 2002. Bleak houses and secret cities: Alternative communities in young adult fiction. Children’s Literature in Education 33: 1 (March): 63-76.

Marla Harris looks at "urban survival" in which children or teens, left on their own, "join together to form a community that explores alternative versions of home and family." Harris discusses "urban survival" novels from the early 1920s through the present.

McGee, Pat. 2002. From Manteo to Murphy: young adult historic fiction set in North Carolina. North Carolina Libraries (Online) 60:3 (Fall): 53-59.

Seeking to expand middle school students’ understanding of local history, the author identifies fiction which reflects themes and historical events set in North Carolina that is appropriate for middle school readers.

Wells, April Dawn. 2000. Themes found in young adult literature: a comparative study between 1980 and 2000. Master’s thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This master’s thesis examines 12 works of realistic fiction by award-winning young adult and children’s authors. The author selected six books written in the early 1980’s and then compared these with another six books written by the same authors after 2000. The author identified 17 themes in both sets of books and attempted to measure differences between themes represented in earlier and later books. The most prevalent themes identified in both sets of books are friendship, adolescents getting into trouble, and interest in the opposite sex. The study finds contemporary realistic young adult fiction presents more complex treatment of themes in young adult literature, suggesting contemporary teen readers deserve greater nuance and realism in literature.


Smith, Carolyn. 2002. Exploring the history and controversy of young adult literature. The New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship 8: 1-12.

The author examines the history of young adult literature to understand the evolution of contemporary young adult literature. Smith identifies genres that are most popular among adolescent readers: funny stories/comedy, mystery, horror, adventure and fantasy. Censorship of young adult literature is also briefly examined. Smith concludes the article with a discussion of the pervasive problem novel of the 1970s.


Herbert, Thomas P. and Richard Kent. 2000. Nurturing social and emotional development in gifted teenagers through young adult literature. Roeper Review 22: 3 (April): 167+.

Researchers Herbert and Kent discuss the use of developmental bibliotherapy with gifted teenagers. The study focuses on a heterogeneous high school English class in which gifted students choose their own books and create a final project. The use of a developmental bibliotherapy to address the needs of gifted students is shown through the use of the book The Mosquito Test. The researchers provide a list of recommended young adult novels.

Tribunella, Eric L. 2005. Disposable objects: Contrived trauma and melancholic sacrifice in American literature for children and young adults. Ph.D. Dissertation, City University of New York.

An examination of children’s and young adult novels explores sacrificing or renouncing a loved object as a standard narrative device. Tribunella maintains that youth "literature relies on the contrived traumatization of children--both protagonists and readers—as a way of representing and promoting the process of maturation."


de Jesús, Melinda L. 2001. "Two’s company, three’s a crowd?": Reading interracial (heterosexual) romance in contemporary Asian American young adult fiction . LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory 12 (2001): 313-334.

The author provides a comprehensive study of a current trend in young adult literature and its effect on both Asian American and non Asian American readers. Her study of five YA novels reveals one reoccurring theme- "the pairing of Asian American girls with white boys." de Jesús urges authors, editors and publishers to reflect on this relationship and provide Asian Americans with more multicultural and well-rounded stories to read.

Longee, Jennifer. 2001. Depictions of slaves and slavery in young adult historical fiction as compared by the ethnicity of the author: A content analysis. Master’s thesis, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In a comprehensive content analysis for her Master’s degree, Jennifer Longee explores the topic of slavery in young adult historical fiction. A discussion of published research on this topic is also included. Longee reviews five books by African American authors and five books by white authors. She concludes that African American authors write more about the slaves’ character development and white authors focus on the "horrific issues surrounding slavery."


Boon, Michele Hilton and Vivian Howard. 2004. Recent lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender fiction for teens: Are Canadian public libraries providing adequate collections? Collection Building 23:2: 133-138.

The authors identify 35 young adult fiction titles with LGBT content published between 1998 and 2002, which they compare to a control group not having LGBT characters or themes. The authors find that in Canadian public libraries participating in this study, LGBT books are less likely to be selected and purchased than non-LGBT books. One reason is that books with LGBT characters or themes are less likely to be reviewed than the control books.

Clark, Jennifer Chance. 2004. GLBTQ teen literature: Is it out there in Indiana? Indiana Libraries 23:2: 25-28.

In this study to determine the availability of GLBTQ materials in Indiana libraries, a list of 24 titles published in the U.S. between 1996 – 2000 was compiled. Searches to locate these books were conducted in the catalogs of 42 library systems. The findings of this author parallel those of Boon and Howard.

Clyde, Laurel A. and Marjorie Lobban. 2001. A door half open: Young people’s access to fiction related to homosexuality. School Libraries Worldwide 7:2 (July): 17-30.

After compiling a bibliography (Out of the Closet and Into the Classroom (1996)) of young adult literature that features gay/lesbian characters and/or themes, the authors conducted a content analysis of the novels. They analyzed characteristics including the role gay and lesbian characters play in the books, the sex of the characters, and how gay and lesbian characters are portrayed. Finally, they considered how young people gain access to the books. The authors conclude that although the number of books for young adults that feature gay and lesbian characters has risen, it is often difficult to identify these books using standard sources of bibliographic information. They find that gay and lesbian characters are usually portrayed sympathetically, if conservatively, and that negative stereotypes are generally avoided. However, access to these titles in public and school libraries remains difficult either because the books are not included in collections or because of poor subject headings on cataloging records.

Linville, Darla. 2004. Beyond picket fences: What gay/queer/LGBTQ teens want from the library. Voice of Youth Advocates 27:3 (August): 183-186.

In this survey to learn about the types of materials LGBTQ teens want in the library, Linville finds that they are interested in reading nonfiction stories about gay people, coming-out stories, stories about activism, and how-to information about starting up gay rights groups. Linville concludes with suggestions on ways to make the library friendlier towards LGBTQ teens.

Rothbauer, Paulette M. and Lynne E. F. McKechnie. 2000. The treatment of gay and lesbian fiction for young adults in selected prominent reviewing media. Collection Building 19:1: 5-16.

Using content analysis, the authors considered how 32 novels for young adults that feature gay and lesbian characters were treated in 158 reviews in five prominent journals. Most reviews mentioned the homosexual content in a positive light, however some did not. In addition, analysis demonstrated that gay and lesbian novels are considered a separate genre within young adult literature.

Wagg, Holly. 2004. Producing (in(visible)) girls: The politics of production in young adult fiction with adolescent lesbian characters. Master’s Thesis, Concordia University, Canada.

While there has been an increase in the publication of homosexuality-themed young adult literature, novels that feature adolescent lesbian characters account for fewer than one-quarter of all published titles. Wagg’s research is based upon interviews with seven young adult authors. An examination of socioeconomics helps to explain how the adolescent lesbian is an invisible/visible girl in young adult literature.

Younger, Beth. 2003. Pleasure, pain, and the power of being thin: Female sexuality in young adult literature. NWSA Journal 15: 2 (Summer): 45-56.

Younger analyzed texts between the years 1970 – 1990 to support the theory that "many Young Adult narratives that are liberating in terms of sexuality are regressive in terms of body image." As an anchor for her research, Younger dissects Judy Blume’s classic Forever (1975) and compares protagonist Katherine’s weight and sexuality to that of her overweight friend Sybil. Younger states "Sybil’s promiscuity is directly linked to her weight." She then compares more recent titles, including Life in the Fat Lane (1998) and Name Me Nobody (1999), to support the same conclusions.

Teens and Reading

Adams, Lauren. 2001. Librarians tell publishers what they really need: A YALSA survey. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries 14: 4 (Summer): 32-34.

Public and school librarians responded to a survey to find out how their needs were being met by publishers. The findings include suggestions to publishers on improving jacket art, reaching out to underserved populations such as Spanish speaking populations, and to produce and market more "high interest/low reading level" materials. Librarians plead for more and quicker access to paperback versions of books and suggestions to publishers on how to better reach teens in an online environment.

Arnold, Elizabeth Mayfield, David B. Goldston, Adam K. Walsh, Beth A. Reboussin, Stephanie Sergent Daniel, Enith Hickman, and Frank B. Wood. 2005. Severity of emotional and behavioral problems among poor and typical readers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 33: 2 (April): 205-218.

This research compares the emotional, behavioral, and attention problems of mid- to late adolescents with and without poor single word reading ability. The authors find that teens with poor single word reading ability exhibit more depression and anxiety.

Brinda, Wayne. 2004. Bringing literature to life for sixth-grade "reluctant readers": A collaborative, participatory study using Theatre for Young Audiences experiences to address aliteracy. Ed.D. Dissertation, Duquesne University.

Organizing two groups of sixth grade "reluctant readers" into "Production Teams" enabled them to actively participate in a series of theatrical experiences. Students were transformed into engaged readers through the power of theatre and literature. Methods used in the study built anticipation for attending the production of A Wrinkle in Time by Prime Stage Theatre.

Chiu, Cing-hsien. 2005. New immigrant readers: The role of young adult literature in literacy development and academic confidence. Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University.

The primary question of this study is: Does reading young adult literature have "a positive influence on literacy development and academic confidence for English as a second language (ESL) middle school students?" Chiu used a qualitative research approach to find that "reading young adult literature extensively played a dynamic role in ESL student literacy success." The author suggests that ESL teens have increased opportunities to reflect on their reading; teachers and librarians collaborate to post student reflections; librarians increase booktalk opportunities and develop more recommended book lists; and that the number of years in ESL classes be increased.

Claiborne, Jennifer L. 2004. A survey of high school English teachers to determine their knowledge, use, and attitude related to young adult literature in the classroom. Ed.D. Dissertation, The University of Tennessee.

The purpose of this study was to learn about high school English teacher’s knowledge, attitudes, and use of young adult literature in the classroom. Survey results indicate that 73 percent of teachers surveyed have "specific knowledge of young adult literature," but they do not use this literature in the classroom. Teachers who use this literature in the classroom focus on the "classics" of the genre.

Coskie, Tracy L. 2003. Becoming a community leader: youth literacy practices in an after-school program. Ph. D. Dissertation, University of Washington

Drawing on situated literacies and persons-in-context theories, the author used participant observation and semi-structured interviews of twelve high school students in an after-school community leadership program. Her analysis shows that these students’ literacy practices were intertwined with their identities and that the environment in which they learn can mediate between the two.

Olson, Elizabeth Bubonic. 2004. Improving the skills of low-performing readers in an alternative school program. Ph.D. Dissertation, Texas A & M University.

High school students in a disciplinary alternative school were positively impacted by an intensive oral reading fluency program. Students in the study were African American and Hispanic. Most received some form of special education services.

Shenton, Andrew K. 2004. Young people’s use of non-fiction books at home: Results of a research project. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 36: 2 (June): 69 -78.

Shenton uses qualitative research methodology to investigate the home libraries of four- to 18-year-olds in north-east England to determine their attitudes towards them. He focuses on the books used, the circumstances in which they are used, the purposes for accessing these books, and the problems encountered when accessing them.

Shin, Hyucksun Sunny. 2002. The well-being and reading achievement of older youth in out-of-home care. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The author looked at vulnerable adolescents in the child welfare system. Her findings show that desire for higher education, being cared for by kin, and participation in school activities is a predictor of higher level reading skills. Drug use increased the likelihood of lower reading skills.

Woodcock, Christine A. 2003. "But, I want to read my girl stuff...": Portraits of late adolescent girls and how relational literacies play a role in their negotiations of gender. Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany.

In a study of late adolescent girls (ages 18-21) a collection of relational literacies of some girls, such as romance fiction, magazines, coming-of-age tales, personal notes, and diaries, influenced their view of being a woman. Informants in the study "envisioned womanhood as an evolving collection of diverse roles, rather than as a traditional, single notion of femininity."