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

dc.contributor.authorPollock, Curtis J.
dc.contributor.supervisorHarper, Nevin
dc.date.accessioned2019-04-29T16:24:18Z
dc.date.available2019-04-29T16:24:18Z
dc.date.copyright2019en_US
dc.date.issued2019-04-29
dc.degree.departmentSchool of Child and Youth Careen_US
dc.degree.levelDoctor of Philosophy Ph.D.en_US
dc.description.abstractWilderness 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.description.scholarlevelGraduateen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1828/10786
dc.languageEnglisheng
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.rightsAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectConstructive-Developmental Theoryen_US
dc.subjectMeaning-Makingen_US
dc.subjectSubject-Object Relationsen_US
dc.subjectWilderness Experience Programen_US
dc.subjectWEPen_US
dc.subjectSubject-Object Interviewen_US
dc.subjectSOIen_US
dc.subjectAdolescent Developmenten_US
dc.subjectHuman Developmenten_US
dc.subjectImmunity to Changeen_US
dc.subjectITCen_US
dc.subjectWilderness Experienceen_US
dc.titleMeaning-making and the wilderness experience: an examination using a constructive-developmental lensen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

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