Assessing the Capabilities of Children's Stories in Enhancing the Cognitive Development of Children According to the Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) Theory

Document Type : مقالات پژوهشی


Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


INTRUDUCTION: The aim of this study is to investigate the extent to which the elements of the REBT are embedded in children's stories published by four Iranian distinguished publishers.

METHODOLOGY: Data gathering for this survey study was carried out through the content analysis method. The population of this research consisted of all children's stories published by four Iranian distinguished publishers (i.e., Ofogh, Kanoon, Nazar and Paydayesh) during 2005-2014. The study sample which was selected by convenience sampling method covered 80 stories in which there were at least 3 elements of REBT, (i.e. A, B, C). Data gathering instruments were two checklists. One checklist was assigned to bibliographic information of children's stories and the other to the REBT elements identified in the sample stories through the content analysis.

FINDINGS: Analysis of the collected data shows that children's stories with REBT elements have the capability of managing cognitive changes. Three REBT elements (i.e., A, B, C) were identified in about 37% of the sample of the study. That is, in the end, the main characters of these stories experienced the healthy and constructive consequences or unhealthy and unconstructive consequences (Stage C). In these stories, the children themselves should pass the disputing stage (D) or people who work with them (i.e., psychologists, librarians, parents etc.) should help them for it. However, in about 62% of them, after second activated events (A2), the main characters could realize that their beliefs are irrational and then they change them.

CONCLUSIONS: It can be concluded that children's stories are suitable instrument for bibliotherapy programs based on REBT. The suggestions by this research can help those involved in the production of children's stories. Based on the findings of this research, it is expected that creators of children's stories and publishers produce more suitable stories through which children can identify their personality problems and experience cognitive development. It is also expected that those working with children (i.e., librarians, psychologists, parents, etc.) can base their bibliotherapy programs on the samples of this research and help children prevent or reduce psychological problems and change their irrational beliefs to rational ones.


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