Teen dating violence is a significant issue to students due to its reported prevalence and student difficulties with identifying partner violence. Young adult literature is useful for engaging disinterested readers because it helps foster a love of reading and helps students explore a social topic that is relevant to their lives and the lives of their peers. Educators in the secondary classroom can use young adult literature about teen dating violence to engage disinterested readers because the problem novels present gendered and culturally centered approaches and are considered high interest with low readability; furthermore, findings that a significant number of protagonists in the novels analyzed used writing to help them make sense of their violent relationships supports teachers’ use of writing, specifically journaling, in their classrooms. Data included thirteen young adult literature novels published between 2000-2013 that had the primary focus of teen dating violence. Texts were read and analyzed for similarities. The results were that the high interest levels and low readability of the novels and the gendered and culturally crafted approaches in the texts would be helpful for engaging the disinterested reader. Furthermore, the significant number of protagonists that utilized writing to help them make sense of their violent relationships supports the use of journaling and peer discussion in the classroom in order to encourage deeper inquiry. The overarching goal of this study was to create a teaching resource that would achieve the ambitious achievement of helping young adults identify teen dating violence in their own lives.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2016


Sally Martin

Mentor Professional Affiliation

English and Theatre

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

English and Theatre