Date of Award
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology
Celeste Jones, Psy.D.
Amber Nelson, Psy.D.
Cherice Bock, M.S., M.Div
This study used an archival dataset to investigate the effects of a recreational outdoor and adventure program (ROAP) on overall adolescent well-being. Successful ROAPs have been found to increase overall well-being as well as other factors such as increased self-efficacy, peer involvement, connectedness to nature, and decreased stress. This study examined 34 high school to college age individuals who participated in a summer ROAP. Five crews completed a 28-day canoe trip in northern Minnesota, and one crew completed a 37-day canoe trip near the Brooks Range in Alaska. Participants completed pre-trip, post-trip, and 45-day follow-up surveys measuring overall well-being, self-efficacy, perceived stress, peer involvement, and connectedness to nature. This study used multivariate analysis of variance to explore between-group differences between Times 1, 2, and 3, evaluating outcomes of the intervention period and the 45 days following intervention. Participant well-being, self-efficacy, and connectedness to nature significantly improved from pre-trip to post-trip (with small, small, and moderate effect sizes, respectively), but no significant difference was found between post-trip and follow-up. For perceived stress, however, least significant difference (LSD) post-hoc tests indicated that there was a significant improvement from the pre-trip to the 45-day follow-up (small effect size). Finally, peer relationships significantly improved from pre-trip to post-trip, then significantly decreased from post-trip to follow-up, with follow-up scores still significantly improved as compared to pre-trip scores (large effect size). These results provide some evidence of a lasting impact of ROAP participation on adolescent well-being, self-efficacy, and connectedness to nature. Limitations and areas for future research are discussed.
Fritz, Mitchell J., "Impact of a Recreational Outdoor and Adventure Program on Adolescent Well-Being" (2022). Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). 448.