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UPON A HILL THEY STOOD; EXPERIENCE AND CHANGE IN ADVENTURE GROUP SCHOOL COUNSELING

SCOTT JULES DAVIDSON, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

This study articulates the theoretical structure of an adventure group school counseling treatment program: under stressful conditions of controlled risk (adventure), participants develop into a team (group) that positively supports each member's experiential learning of socially significant skills (school), individual psychosocial growth, and specific behavior changes (counseling). As such, adventure group school counseling is an orderly incorporation of four key therapeutic processes: outdoor adventure, team development, experiential learning, and clinical debriefing. The closely related educational and counseling practices of Outward Bound and Project Adventure are examined in depth.^ This study then analyzes the design, implementation, and evaluation of an adventure group school counseling program in wilderness search and rescue team training. By design, the program presented few financial burdens and an acceptable level of physical risk while providing direct psychological support services to underachieving adolescents in a Northeastern public high school. An experimental treatment group of 10 students identified by the school faculty as underachievers participated in 10 weekly treatment sessions that consisted of team building initiatives, wilderness search and rescue skills training, and group processing (clinical debriefing). Employing a before and after control group experimental design, significant findings (p $<$.05) were indicated in the areas of increased self-esteem, complexity of social reasoning and internal locus of control as measured by the Tennessee Self Concept Scale, Selman Interpersonal Awareness Scale, and Locus of Control in Three Achievement Domains, respectively. Qualitative changes in the treatment groups' stage of team development were found. Changes in school comportment and attendance were nonsignificant.^ Finally, this study addresses some of the problems in the field research of adventure group school counseling. Supplementary treatment and control groups provided additional data to measure important field site-specific and intrasubject variables. Recommendations for the future practice and research of adventure group school counseling are provided. ^

Subject Area

Education, Guidance and Counseling

Recommended Citation

SCOTT JULES DAVIDSON, "UPON A HILL THEY STOOD; EXPERIENCE AND CHANGE IN ADVENTURE GROUP SCHOOL COUNSELING" (January 1, 1987). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI8727032.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8727032

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