School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


David Jenkins


Emotion Regulation, Therapeutic Camping, Wilderness Programming, Emotion Functioning


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


For the past 75, years Therapeutic Camping (ThC) has been utilized as a therapeutic modality, although it has been largely unknown or unrecognized by the traditional treatment community. ThC bears similarities to wilderness therapy and was initially developed for children and youth suffering from behavioral and emotional problems. Mental and behavioral health issues are frequent in youth which can cause personal, familial, social, and economic problems. Another core underlying issues emotion dysregulation, which involves the inability to regulate emotion across multiple domains. Mental health providers have recognized the need to reduce the effects associated with emotion dysregulation and limited treatment resources for youth, ThC was proposed as being a therapeutic approach potentially improving emotion regulation scores. This study proposes observing and measuring male ThC participants from Fair Play Wilderness School for a 12-week period for emotion regulation, program progress, and if age and time in the program was a covariate. The study which is the subject of this dissertation proposed pre- and post-test measuring of participants producing readiness to change, emotion functioning, and program progress scores. These results suggested improvement in emotion function scores and program progress scores during the 12-week period observed. Age of campers was not found to be a covariable in emotion function or program progress scores. The study did produce correlational results, although it did not identify causation.

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