An Exploratory Study of a Wilderness Adventure Program for Young Offenders

  • Walsh M
  • Russell K
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Abstract

Wilderness adventure programs have been utilized as an intervention in youth corrections in the United States since the arrival of Outward Bound in the early 1960s. This exploratory study evaluates the effects of a 21-day wilderness adventure program for young offenders called Wilderness Endeavors. The results of the study showed that self-efficacy and hope scores changed significantly and that young offenders who had reported higher levels of hope were less likely to recidivate than those who had reported lower levels. When comparing the treatment group to a control group, no significant differences in recidivism rates, school participation, or employment rates were found. The limitations, challenges, and recommendations for research on wilderness programs for young offenders are also discussed.

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Authors

  • Michael A. Walsh

  • Keith C. Russell

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