Changes in Family Leisure Functioning Following a Family Camp for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Authors

  • Karen Wenzel Metropolitan State University of Denver and Clemson University
  • Jasmine Townsend Clemson University
  • Brent L. Hawkins Clemson University
  • Brook Russell Clemson University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/TRJ-2020-V54-I1-9418

Keywords:

Autism spectrum disorder, family camp, family communication, family leisure functioning, satisfaction with family life and functioning

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate and long-term effect of participation in a family camp designed specifically for families with a child with ASD. The variables studied were family recreation, family recreation satisfaction, family communication, satisfaction with family function, and satisfaction with family life, as reported by the parents. Findings indicated changes in family functioning, family communication, satisfaction with family function, and satisfaction with family life. The trend analyses indicated the parents reported a general increase in satisfaction with their family function and family life, and a statistically significant increase was observed in satisfaction with family life (p = .045). These findings partially support previous research demonstrating that increased parental involvement has a positive effect on parental and family well-being for families with a child with ASD. Implications for recreational therapy practice in providing interventions for families with a child with ASD and future research are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Karen Wenzel, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Clemson University

Karen Wenzel is an Assistant Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Coordinator for Recreation Professions. She is currently a PhD candidate in Recreational Therapy at Clemson University within the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.

Jasmine 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.

Brent L. Hawkins, Clemson University

Dr. Brent L. Hawkins is an Assistant Professor of Recreational Therapy within the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University.   His research investigates the functional, community reintegration, quality of life, and health outcomes associated with recreational therapy and rehabilitation programs for civilians and veterans.

Brook Russell, Clemson University

Dr. Brook Russell is an Assistant Professor of Applied Statistics in the Department of Mathematics at Clemson University. His professional research interests include multivariate extreme value methods, and ecological and environmental applications. 

Published

2020-03-16

Issue

Section

Research Papers