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Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Tinna Jørgensen Mariager
4. semester, Psykologi, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
In this study: A qualitative case study about Danish outdoor activities as a developing factor for youth-at-risk and Adventure Therapy’s contribution, examined by participant observation and qualitative interviewing in two cases.
In Denmark children or adolescents under the age of 18, who are placed outside of their homes because of neglect from parents or reasons related to the child, are considered as “youth-at-risk”. Also children from a “10. klasse”, in Denmark referred to as an extra year of school after primary school for 15-16 year olds, to an extent are also considered at-risk, since these children are considered academically weak compared to other children taking the direct way to higher education. All to often some of these youth-at-risk, those with incipient personality disorder, won’t get the right help at the right time since there are disagreements on which treatment to offer. Adventure Therapy has shown to be an effective therapeutic approach especially for youth-at-risk and is therefore considered an effective approach within the work of Danish educational use of outdoor activities with youth-at-risk.

The methods used in both cases were participant observation and triangulation thereby making the following interviews more precise. In the first case with a “10. klasse” observing a one-day hike and a day trip to an indoor climbing facility was followed by an interview with the participating nature guide and two adolescents. In the second case, five adolescents aged 12-17, from an institution for neglected children and adolescents, was observed during an overnight trip to the woods. Interviews were carried out with the participating teaching assistant and one of the boys. The five interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis was used to indicate the major themes in the material.

The results indicate various positive factors of outdoor activities outlined as the increased level of self-efficacy, which is indicated by the youth’s descriptions of successful experiences, which gives them courage to tackle new challenges. The unaccustomed situations in the outdoors and natures healing effect are described by all respondents to have a positive effect on the adolescents well being. This is also dependent on the adult’s authentic nature and interest in the adolescent and the way they work together on a common project. Metaphors and story telling is used by the nature guide which also contributes to the development of the adolescent.

The best contribution to the adolescent’s development depends on an individual treatment option since the two groups of adolescent differs in cognitive, neurological and social ability. Therefore knowledge on these areas are important to consider when a Danish educational approach is used, inspired by elements of Adventure Therapy.
Udgivelsesdato29 maj 2015
Antal sider80
ID: 212965537