Wilderness Therapy for Youth of Color: An Examination of Program Length, Cultural Relevance, and Post-Program Care
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Researchers have identified factors that make wilderness therapy an effective form of therapy for youth experiencing mental health, home environment, and academic challenges. Little research has been done to identify programming factors that increase wilderness therapy program efficacy for youth of color populations. This project proposes programming changes to an existing outdoor adventure camp that is accessible to at-risk youth of color, in order to increase lasting program efficacy as a form of wilderness therapy, incarceration prevention, and restorative justice. The 3 manipulations proposed are session length extension from 6 to 21 days, culturally relevant programming, and post-session continuum of care program development. The hypothesis of this project is that introducing these 3 manipulations to programming at an existing camp will lead to improvement in youth participants’ total scores across all measurements.
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