Young Adult Literature and Censorship: A Content Analysis of Seventy-Eight Young Adult Books

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The purpose of this study was to analyze a representative seventy-eight current young adult books to determine the extent to which they contain items which are objectionable to would-be censors. Seventy-eight books were identified which fit the criteria of popularity and literary quality. Content analysis was selected as the quantitative method of research. Each of the seventy-eight young adult books was analyzed for the six categories which were established through prior research. The six categories include profanity, sex, violence, parent conflict, drugs, and condoned bad behavior. These categories were tallied each time they occurred in the books. Reliability was assured ... continued below

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v, 116 leaves: ill.

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Horton, Nancy Spence December 1986.

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  • Horton, Nancy Spence

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Description

The purpose of this study was to analyze a representative seventy-eight current young adult books to determine the extent to which they contain items which are objectionable to would-be censors. Seventy-eight books were identified which fit the criteria of popularity and literary quality. Content analysis was selected as the quantitative method of research. Each of the seventy-eight young adult books was analyzed for the six categories which were established through prior research. The six categories include profanity, sex, violence, parent conflict, drugs, and condoned bad behavior. These categories were tallied each time they occurred in the books. Reliability was assured with a rating of .98 by a committee of six professionals. The data reveal that profanity occurred more times in the seventy-eight books than the other five categories with a total of 5,616. The category of drugs was noted 4,171 times. References to sex followed in number with 3,174. The categories which occurred the least were violence with 1,849 occurrences and condoned bad behavior with only 489 occurrences. By applying a frequency index formula to determine the number of objections in each book in relation to the number of pages, a comparison among the books could be made. The analysis, synthesis, and interpretation of the data led to several conclusions. Local school systems should establish and follow procedures for book selection and removal. The interests of young adults are met by the presentation of a variety of ideas and realistic plots and settings. The books, even with objectionable items, are chosen by teachers and students to read; therefore, they should be accessible in secondary school libraries as they provide valuable reading experiences for young adults. This study established that young adult literature serves an important function in providing quality reading material of interest to teenagers. These reading experiences help broaden the learning environment for young adults.

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v, 116 leaves: ill.

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  • December 1986

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • April 11, 2016, 10:17 a.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Horton, Nancy Spence. Young Adult Literature and Censorship: A Content Analysis of Seventy-Eight Young Adult Books, dissertation, December 1986; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331381/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .