Adolescents with a chronic illness or physical disability have a more difficult time separating from parents, achieving a sense of mastery, developing social skills among peers, and achieving a positive body-image than do able-bodied adolescents. To promote attainment of these developmental tasks, Adventure, Etc. was created as a wilderness/urban Outward Bound experience for chronically ill, physically disabled, and able-bodied teens. Preand posttesting and interviewing assessed locus of control, self-image, family environment, and family dynamics. Over a two-year period, 37 teens completed the program and were tested; 23 were chronically ill or disabled. The chronically ill/disabled group showed a significant increase in internal locus of control. No change was found in the able-bodied group. Both the able-bodied and the disabled/chronically ill groups showed a significant improvement in body image. Reported family conflict declined, as did family recreational involvement, while individual recreational activities among these adolescents increased. Based on these results, new follow-up activities for the parents and adolescents were initiated to further the gains of program participants.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Support for this study came in part from BRSG SO7 05448, awarded by th e Biomedical Research Support Grant Program, Division of Research Resources, National Institute of Health, and MCJ000985, Bureau Of Maternal &Child Health, Division of Community Health Services, Department Of Health and Human Services.
- Adventure, Etc.
- Developmental tasks
- Locus of control