Assessing the Social Effect of Therapeutic Recreation Summer Camp for Adolescents With Chronic Illness


  • Jared Allsop University of Utah Kostopulos Dream Foundation
  • Sandra K. Negley University of Utah
  • Jim Sibthorp University of Utah


Therapeutic recreation, summer camp, chronic illness, social self- efficacy, social performance, neurofibromatosis


Over 2 million adolescents in the United States have a form of chronic illness and frequently have decreased levels of social self-efficacy and social performance. The summer camp industry and the field of therapeutic recreation have been found to have positive influences upon these social factors. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a therapeutic recreation-based summer camp on social self-efficacy levels and social performance with peers among adolescents with chronic illness.

Seventy-nine adolescents with neurofibromatosis participated in two sessions of summer camp. Campers were assigned to either a week of camp following a traditional summer camp model or a week of camp following the therapeutic recreation process. The Social Self-Efficacy Scale and an adapted Social Skills Questionnaire were used for measurements.

The first hypothesis looked at social self-efficacy and was not supported. The second hypothesis looked at social performance and was supported.

Author Biographies

Jared Allsop, University of Utah Kostopulos Dream Foundation

Jared Allsop, M.S., TRS/CTRS

Program Director at the Kostopulos Dream Foundation, MS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Utah, Spring 2012. BS in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership with an option in Therapeutic Recreation from Brigham Young University, Summer 2007.

Sandra K. Negley, University of Utah

Sandra Negley, M.S., MTRS/CTRS

Coordinator of Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Utah. MS in Recreation and Leisure with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. Past president of ATRA

Jim Sibthorp, University of Utah

Jim Sibthorp, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, (Adventure and Outdoor Programs, Research Methods)
Director, Graduate Studies; Coordinator, Adventure and Outdoor Programs at the University of Utah. Ph.D. in Human Performance, Leisure Behavior from Indiana University.





Research Papers