Promoting Children's Hope Through Storytelling

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Contemporary Psychology


Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1998, Vol 43(12), 865-867. A large body of research has linked hope and optimism to psychological and physical well-being in both adults and children. Optimistic individuals show greater academic achievement, job success, recovery from illness, and resistance to depression (for reviews, see Buchanan & Seligman, 1995; Scheier & Carver, 1992). These findings suggest that fostering hope is an important goal for parents, educators, and others who work with children. However, research on how best to promote optimism is still in its early stages. Several books offering practical advice for caregivers and adults who work with children have appeared recently (e.g., Bernard, 1997; Seligman, Reivich, Jaycox, & Gillham, 1995; Shure & DiGeronimo, 1994). Notable among these books is this volume (see record 1997-36220-000). One weakness of the book (and of many other works on optimism and hope) is its limited attention to the link between beliefs and behavior. The authors do not describe how storytelling will lead to better problem solving in children. This book can best be used in conjunction with other books that focus on concrete cognitive-behavioral skills designed to promote adaptive behavior and well-being in children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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