Joy Mauldin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Nancy Thurston, PsyD

Second Advisor

Carol Del'Oliver, PhD

Third Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD


Even though children's books have been around for centuries, no research has addressed shame dynamics in children's literature. Psychologists can play an important role in the illumination of shaming content in literature, which will shape a child's perception of the world around her. In this qualitative study, five volunteers, non- psychologist adults ranging in ages 26-58 years, discovered that shame exists in children's books. The volunteers noted that shame can be both explicit and implicit in fashion. This study informs us that when given an understanding of shame, a non- psychologist layperson can identify shaming content in children's literature. This study explores the readers' personal definitions of shame and its perceived impact; it also explores both explicit and implicit shame and the books' resolutions regarding the shame. Finally, suggestions are made for future research m shame in children's literature and other children's media.