An Investigation of the Connection Between Outdoor Orientation and Thriving

Authors

  • Wally James Rude Ambrose University
  • Andrew J. Bobilya Western Carolina University
  • Brent J. Bell University of New Hampshire

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2017-V9-I2-8101

Keywords:

outdoor orientation, student thriving, outdoor adventure education, student development, student success, college students

Abstract

This study explored the contribution of outdoor orientation experiences to student thriving. Participants included 295 first-year college students from three institutions across North America. A thriving model was tested using structural equation modeling and included the following variables: outdoor orientation, thriving, involvement, spirituality, psychological sense of community, student–faculty interaction, and control variables. Although the predictive importance of outdoor orientation is modest (? = .048), it contributes significantly to a model explaining 72.8% of the variance in thriving levels. Outdoor orientation directly predicted campus involvement (? = .246) and spirituality (? = -.146). Findings indicate that participating in an outdoor orientation may create a propensity for students to become more involved in campus life, which may foster a greater sense of campus community, culminating in thriving. These results suggest that practitioners should enhance both a psychological sense of community among students and the durability of outdoor experiences back on campus.Subscribe to JOREL

Author Biographies

Wally James Rude, Ambrose University

VP Student Development, Ambrose University

Andrew J. Bobilya, Western Carolina University

Associate Professor and Program DirectorParks and Recreation Managment

Brent J. Bell, University of New Hampshire

Associate Professor of Outdoor EducationDepartment of Kinesiology

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Published

2017-05-22

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Regular Papers