Outdoor education and the rehabilitation of at-risk adolescents.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Amongst alternative forms of treatment for adolescents facing social and emotional adjustment problems, Outdoor Education has been identifed as an effective vehicle for behaviour and attitude modification. An evaluation of a programme incorporating Outdoor Education principles within a residential institution for adolescent females was undertaken using a quasi-experimental design. Changes in self concepts, social adjustment and classroom behaviour of subjects who participated in the programme was compared with subjects who were involved in the regular school programme. Results indicated that the Outdoor Education programme was not instrumental in producing change in participants. However, it was concluded that problems affecting the internal validity of the study, contributed importantly to the negative results. Of particular concern was the fact that the Outdoor Education programme did not occur in the form in which it was initially described. Nevertheless, drawing on qualitative data gathered throughout the study, the potential worth of Outdoor Education in the rehabilitation of at-risk adolescents was considered.