|Tikvah: a special program of integrated summer camping and its effects upon emotionally disturbed adolescents and their normal peers|
Elliot Joseph Rosen
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Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: adolescence, Attitude (Psychology), Camps, Mainstreaming in education, Problem children, Self-perception
TIKVAH: A SPECIAL PROGRAM OF INTEGRATED SUMMER CAMPING AND ITS EFFECTS UPON EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED ADOLESCENTS AND THEIR NORMAL PEERS
Elliott J. Rosen
This study examined the effects of a special intervention program of summer residential camping, called ˘Tikvah,÷ upon emotionally disturbed adolescents and their normal peers in an integrated setting. The population consisted of thirty emotionally disturbed adolescents and 131 normal adolescents in the experimental camp and ninety normal adolescents in a camp which served as a comparison group. The social and emotional growth of the emotionally disturbed adolescents was measured employing the variables of self-esteem, locus of control, social competence and attempts at integration. Changes in the attitudes of normal peers toward these youngsters and the former groupĂs espousal of personal values was a second focus of the study.
The study sought to answer two basic questions: What effect will an intensive, integrated program of summer camping have upon emotionally disturbed adolescents? Can the attitudes of normal peers toward these adolescents be changed as the result of such a camping experience?
The hypotheses tested were:
1. Emotionally disturbed adolescents will show a rise from baseline in measured self-esteem and perception of internal locus of control after completing an eight-week residential summer camp program designed to facilitate their integration with normal peers.
2. Emotionally disturbed adolescents who are defined as ˘internal÷ on the ChildrenĂs Internal-External Scale will show greater improvement in counselor ratings of their competence in social learning than those defined as ˘external÷ in the aforementioned summer camp setting.
3. Normal camping peers, living in the camp setting with exceptional adolescents will demonstrate a positive shift in attitudes toward exceptionality, compared to a similar camping group not exposed to such an experience with exceptional peers.
4. Normal adolescents who interact on a regular one-to-one basis with their emotionally disturbed peers will show a greater positive shift in attitudes toward them than their normal peers who have had no such contact.
5. Normal adolescents who choose to interact on a regular one-to-one basis with their emotionally disturbed peers will show a different pattern of values than their normal peers who have not chosen such interaction.
6. Normal adolescents who choose to interact on a regular one-to-one basis with their emotionally disturbed peers will identify different sources of influence upon them than their normal peers who have not chosen such interaction.
Using an interrupted time-series design it was found that the emotionally disturbed adolescents, as a group, showed a significant rise from pre-camp baseline in self-esteem, locus of control and social competence and that this improvement was sustained for at least three months after the camp season. Thus, the improvement could be considered as stable. The hypotheses regarding the normal population were not confirmed; there was no significant change in attitudes on the part of the normal population in either camp, nor were the values espoused by those who worked closely with the special population any different than those who did not.
It is felt that the success of this program points to further possibilities for the integration of exceptional adolescents within normal populations. It is also suggested that further research be conducted to determine the relative strength of such variables as summer camping, ethnic and cultural homogeneity, labelling and careful selection of participants in changing the self-construct of exceptional adolescents.