Exploring the Long-Term Effects for Young Women Involved in an Outdoor Education Program

Authors

  • Sandy Allen-Craig Australian Catholic University
  • Claire Hartley Australian Catholic University

Abstract

Outdoor Education programs often claim to contribute to a range of positive outcomes with respect to personal development of participants and the development of sustainable relationships with nature. There have been numerous studies that have examined these aspects of the outcomes of Outdoor Education programs (Davidson, 2001; Gray & Perusco, 1993; Hattie, Marsh, Neill, & Richards, 1997; McLeod & Allen-Craig, 2007; Neill, 1997; Neill & Richards, 1998; Rahman, 2009; Sibthorp, Paisley, & Gookin, 2007; Wang, Liu, & Kahlid, 2006; Wilson & Lipsey, 2000). However it appears there have been limited studies which have specifically addressed the experience of adolescent females undertaking Outdoor Education (Boniface, 2006; Gray, 1997; Humberstone, 2000; Porter, 1996; Whittington, 2006). It has also been noted in the literature that there is a lack of evidence as to whether the outcomes of Outdoor Education programs have a long term or lasting effect on their participants (Hattie, et al., 1997; Brooker, 2008). The purpose of this study is to gather longitudinal information reflecting the impact of Outdoor Education programs in the lives of young women.