Outdoor adventure for young people with a mental illness
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012
© 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Early Intervention in Psychiatry
Volume 6, Issue 4, pages 407–414, November 2012
How to Cite
Schell, L., Cotton, S. and Luxmoore, M. (2012), Outdoor adventure for young people with a mental illness. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 6: 407–414. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7893.2011.00326.x
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012
- Received 2 April 2011; accepted 22 September 2011
- adventure therapy;
- early intervention;
- group therapy;
Aim: The study aims to evaluate the efficacy of an Outdoor Adventure Group (OAG) for young people with a mental illness. It was hypothesized that participating in OAG would result in an increase in self-esteem, sense of mastery and social connectedness, compared with those who attended other Psychosocial Recovery Group Program groups based at Orygen Youth Health. In addition, those in the OAG would show an improved performance of personal goals.
Methods: Twenty-one youths (aged 15 to 25) participated in the OAG and 12 participated in other Psychosocial Recovery Group Program groups and served as the comparison group. Pre- and post-evaluation measures included (i) Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale; (ii) Mastery Scale; (iii) Social Connectedness Scale; and (iv) personal goals for attending the OAG, rated 1–10 on current performance. The groups were based at Orygen Youth Health, Melbourne, Australia and run over an 8 to 10-week period.
Results: Participants of the OAG experienced an improvement in self-esteem (P = 0.001) and mastery (P = 0.001); these changes were not observed in the controls. There were a total of 80 personal goals for the OAG, with an average of 3.81 per person, and performance significantly improved in 66 (82.5%) goals. There were 10 categories of goals; the most common goals were related to self-improvement and social skills development.
Conclusions: Increased self-esteem and mastery, and achievement of personal goals gained through the OAG, may facilitate, or be a precursor to, a young person's psychosocial recovery.