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Electronic Theses and Dissertations

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Arts and Humanities

2017

Adolescence

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Young Adult Literature And Empathy In Appalachian Adolescents, Kelsey R. Kiser Dec 2017

Young Adult Literature And Empathy In Appalachian Adolescents, Kelsey R. Kiser

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Based on recent research concluding that fiction can increase empathy, this project examines how multicultural young adult literature may encourage empathy in Appalachian adolescents. Empathy encourages prosocial behaviors, but evidence suggests that young adults’ ability to empathize has declined in recent decades. In addition, Appalachia in particular is still a relatively homogenous region as it is majority white, protestant Christian, and heteronormative. Because of this, young adults in Appalachia may encounter few diverse perspectives in real life; multicultural young adult literature can provide diverse perspectives with which teenagers can empathize in a region where they might not have similar opportunities ...