Relational bullying, although covert in nature and difficult for adults to notice and identify, is becoming increasingly prevalent among young children and teens. The success of bibliotherapy as preventative and intervention practices for bullying shows that portrayals of relational bullying in quality children’s literature would be effective in reducing and preventing it. However, relational bullying is rarely portrayed in children’s literature. My goal was to find quality children’s realistic fiction literature that portrays relational bullying in Newbery award-winning books, and to bring them to the attention of teachers.

After creating a table to determine what types of bullying, if any, were portrayed in the 21 Newbery Medal and Honor realistic fiction children’s literature (1996-2016), the books were read in their totality, and analyzed for any portrayals of relational bullying, including the experience of bullying from the eyes of the bully, victim, and bystander. The bullying portrayed in the literature was described, as well as the characteristics of the bully and victim. Only 10 out of the 21 books read contained portrayals of bullying in the plot.

Using this information, future research will include creating a website for teachers, other educational professionals, and parents, to help bring quality children’s literature portrayals of relational bullying to their attention. The hope is that teachers will begin to use the findings of this study as a resource with their students, to prevent or address relational bullying in their classrooms, and to recommend it to school psychologists, counselors, and parents, as needed.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Hoffman, Elizabeth


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

Degree Program

Elementary Education


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date