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

Jared Allsop, Sandra K. Negley, Jim Sibthorp


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.


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

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