This article explores the use of young adult literature as a pedagogical tool for enhancing empathy skills for competent practice in BSW education. Students from two sections of an introductory social work course participated in the study. The instructor used the same textbook in both sections. One section incorporated a 4-week curriculum module that included a young adult novel. Results indicated that students who registered for the section that incorporated literature (n=37) reported higher levels of empathy at posttest t(55)=5.47, p=.002, as compared with students (n=20) from the other section. The findings provide preliminary support for use of literature in BSW education. The findings also warrant the need for additional studies that examine the potential effectiveness of literature for teaching other types of practice behaviors in the BSW curriculum.

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