Exploring the role of literature in the lives of college women: reflections on the influence of literature from adolescence





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The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of literature read in adolescence on the lives of college-aged women. In particular, the researcher sought to reveal this influence through the respondents' words, so a qualitative methodology was utilized. Overall, nine college-aged women were interviewed and asked to complete a written prompt about their adolescent reading experiences. Once written and interview responses were collected and transcribed, they were analyzed for common themes through the lens of reader-response theory. Based on the women's responses as readers, four areas of influence emerged: Reading preferences, influence on life path, understanding of the world, and understanding of self. The results support several studies conducted in the past however, these results collectively revealed four areas of influence. Prior to this study, research on the influence of reading was limited to single influences. The results also suggest many other areas for future research, including broadening the study to examine the influence of reading on college-aged men.

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