Is recreation a context for fostering resilience in at risk youth?




Lewis, Pete

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The purpose of this study was to investigate whether recreation is a context for fostering resilience in at risk youth. Five at risk youth were recruited from past relationships with the researcher and with the help of local child-serving agencies. The researcher was also a participant in the inquiry. The youth were selected because they had experienced significant life adversity in their past but were deemed resilient because they had exhibited positive outcomes over a period of time. The research was guided by a Phenomenological paradigm. Two qualitative and one quantitative data collection methods were used. Data collection consisted of the completion of the Protective Factors Scale (PFS) questionnaire, email questionnaire/journaling and personal interview. These were used to capture the full, lived experience of the participants. Results were analyzed using the measurement tool provided with the PFS and NVivo qualitative software. Axial coding was used to identify higher order themes and synthesizing was used to merge stories and experiences. The data revealed five higher order themes that are discussed in detail. Recommendations for future research are presented and implications for practice are discussed.



youth, social disabilities, recreation