An evaluation of a ropes course: Efficacy for at-risk youth with externalizing versus internalizing symptoms

Date of Completion

January 2003


Psychology, Clinical




The Adventure Learning Program is a seven-week adventure-based middle school program designed to improve the self-concepts and social functioning of students identified by their teachers as at-risk. Participants consisted of 44 respondents aged 12–14 years-old. There were 29 students who completed the Adventure Learning Program and 15 control students. Ratings of social, emotional and academic functioning were obtained from the students and their teachers pre- and post-treatment. Self-ratings included multi-dimensional self-concept, depression, and self-esteem. The findings suggest that the Adventure Learning Program did not positively affect the participants. Factors contributing to the apparent failure of the Adventure Learning Program to have a positive affect on participants include the selection criteria, a heterogeneous population, the role of the facilitators, the role of the setting, and the intensity and duration of the program. These factors will be discussed and their implications for future programs and research. ^