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Meaning-making and the wilderness experience: an examination using a constructive-developmental lens

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dc.contributor.author Pollock, Curtis J.
dc.date.accessioned 2019-04-29T16:24:18Z
dc.date.available 2019-04-29T16:24:18Z
dc.date.copyright 2019 en_US
dc.date.issued 2019-04-29
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/10786
dc.description.abstract Wilderness Experience Programs (WEPs) take youth into wilderness settings in order to teach wilderness travel and leadership, expand personal capacity, and equip youth with coping skills in order to manage life’s difficulties. Though considerable research has been conducted on WEPs, no one has sought to understand the student experience these programs provide through a constructive-developmental lens (Kegan, 1982, 1994). The purpose of this case study was to explore, describe, assess, and understand–using the framework of Robert Kegan’s (1982, 1994) constructive-developmental theory–the impact a 21-day wilderness backpacking experience had on five participating youth. The researcher believed that understanding how participants in a wilderness backpacking course make sense of their experience through the lens of their constructive-developmental perspective might help inform the theories of change that underpin WEPs, the means by which desired change is facilitated, and the reasons why some youth thrive and others struggle. This exploratory study utilized a case study approach. The researcher embedded as a participant-observer for the duration on a 21-day backpacking course with Outward Bound Canada in the Ghost River Wilderness, Alberta, Canada. Nine youth participated in the expedition, with five male students volunteering as research participants. Pre-trip and post-trip administrations of the Subject-Object Interview and post-expedition semi-structured interviews were conducted with each research participant. Additionally, the researcher made field observations and wrote field notes. The subsequent analysis produced in-depth profiles of each research participant’s experience of the course, pre and post expedition scores from the Subject-Object Interviews, and a description of how each research participant’s experience might be understood through the lens of their constructive-developmental perspective. Although no significant changes to constructive-developmental perspective were realized, implications of these analyses were discussed, conclusions were drawn, and recommendations were made. en_US
dc.language English eng
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Available to the World Wide Web en_US
dc.subject Constructive-Developmental Theory en_US
dc.subject Meaning-Making en_US
dc.subject Subject-Object Relations en_US
dc.subject Wilderness Experience Program en_US
dc.subject WEP en_US
dc.subject Subject-Object Interview en_US
dc.subject SOI en_US
dc.subject Adolescent Development en_US
dc.subject Human Development en_US
dc.subject Immunity to Change en_US
dc.subject ITC en_US
dc.subject Wilderness Experience en_US
dc.title Meaning-making and the wilderness experience: an examination using a constructive-developmental lens en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.supervisor Harper, Nevin
dc.degree.department School of Child and Youth Care en_US
dc.degree.level Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en_US


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