Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald J. Yarosz


One in 4 children in the United States lives in a family impacted by the chronic, heritable disease of substance use disorder (SUD), also known as alcoholism or addiction. Recent research has demonstrated that resilience is a key protective factor against developing the disease in adolescence and adulthood and that the neurological roots of resilience lie in the child's experiences in early childhood. In spite of this, few resources related to family SUD or current models of resilience are included in preservice teacher preparation for early childhood educators. This study examined whether key components of Masten's model of resilience are found in fairytales, a form of literature commonly used in early childhood teacher preparation programs. A qualitative, descriptive, deductive content analysis was conducted on 24 fairytales from 22 different cultures, using a tool derived from Propp's morphology of fairytales and Masten's model of resilience. Results indicated that the texts of 96% of these stories contained multiple specific references to the 3 dominant evidence-based factors for resilience: attachment/relationships, initiative, and self-regulation. When broken into the 7 subcategories of these 3 protective factors, as identified by Masten, 9 fairytales contained examples of all 7 protective factors; 9 had examples of 6, and another 5 had examples of 5. The results of this study may be used to provide teacher educators with resources to better prepare preservice early childhood teachers to understand and nurture resilience in children, while addressing existing mandated learning objectives related to emergent literacy. This will benefit all children the teachers will work with, but especially those who are impacted by SUD and other forms of trauma.