Parental Perceptions of Changes in Family Well-Being Following Participation in a Camp: Experiences of Families With a Child With ASD Qualitative Paper


  • Jasmine A. Townsend Clemson University
  • Marieke Van Puymbroeck



Family well-being, family functioning, communication, satisfaction with family life, family leisure satisfaction, family leisure


Family leisure research has indicated that a positive relationship exists between family leisure involvement and family dynamics such as family functioning, satisfaction with family life and leisure, and communication. Participating in activities together is important to families with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and can benefit the wellbeing of the entire family. The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate and long-term influence of participation in a family camp designed specifically for families with a child with ASD. Themes from interviews highlight positive perceptions of family leisure experiences following camp. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Author Biography

Jasmine A. Townsend, Clemson University

Dr. Jasmine Townsend is an Assistant Professor in Recreational Therapy within the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, and a Faculty Scholar in the School of Health Research, both at Clemson University. Her primary research interest includes investigating the outcomes of participation in recreation for families of all types, including those with members with disabilities. Her current research area focuses on the health outcomes of participation in recreational therapy for military service members and their families, and understanding the influences of family leisure involvement on the well-being of military families. Dr. Townsend is a past co-leader of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s Military/Veterans Affairs Treatment Network and has a history of publications and presentations regarding the relationship between participation in family recreation and elements of healthy functioning families. She also serves as a co-leader for the Veterans Affairs section of the American Journal of Recreation Therapy. Dr. Townsend’s practical experience includes working in community adaptive and therapeutic recreation programs as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, in wilderness and residential treatment programs for youth with behavioral and mental health conditions, and implementing international adaptive sport training programs in countries like Indonesia, Mexico, and Thailand.





Qualitative Papers