Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Patty LeBlanc

Second Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa Ciganek


The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of bibliotherapy on senior adults’ perceptions of social connectedness. The research question was “What are senior adults’ perceptions of connectedness after bibliotherapy?” To explore the research question, a virtual book study was conducted via Zoom. Seven retired adults took part in the virtual book study and were interviewed at the end of the study. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to examine the lived experiences of connectedness among participants of the virtual book study; interview responses were distilled to core meanings. Analysis of the interview data resulted in three major themes: connection to self, connection to others, and connection to the book/author. Key points gleaned from the study resulted in the formation of a model designed to guide future virtual book studies to encourage social connectedness. Based on participants’ feedback, participants desired time for recreational conversation before and after each meeting, less reading each week, more book study sessions to cover the material, and Zoom training before and during the study. Choosing an engaging book was key for fostering connections to self, others, and the book. The virtual book study was important for older adults as it was a form of accountability and allowed senior participants to socially engage safely from their homes.