Effects of the PCYC Catalyst outdoor adventure intervention program on youths' life skills, mental health, and delinquent behaviour

Daniel BOWEN, James NEILL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study used mixed methods to examine the effects of an Australian outdoor adventure intervention on youth-at-risks' life effectiveness, mental health, and behavioural functioning. The sample consisted of 53 adolescents who completed a Catalyst program conducted by the Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association, a non-profit organisation, in Queensland, Australia. The program involved 15 programming days over a 10–12-week period. There were small to moderate short- and longer-term improvements in life effectiveness, psychological well-being, and several aspects of behavioural conduct. There were no positive longer-term impacts on psychological distress and some aspects of behaviour. Thematic analysis of 14 participant interviews identified six major themes: overcoming challenging backgrounds, contending with adversity, personal development, social development, motivation to work for change, and a more optimistic outlook on the future. Further research utilising a comparison group, multiple sources of data, and a larger sample could help to qualify results and increase generalisability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-55
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescence and Youth
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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youth welfare
Mental Health
Queensland
mental health
non-profit-organization
Nonprofit Organizations
social development
Psychology
police
programming
Information Storage and Retrieval
well-being
Police
citizen
adolescent
Motivation
interview
Interviews
Group
Research

Cite this

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AB - This study used mixed methods to examine the effects of an Australian outdoor adventure intervention on youth-at-risks' life effectiveness, mental health, and behavioural functioning. The sample consisted of 53 adolescents who completed a Catalyst program conducted by the Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association, a non-profit organisation, in Queensland, Australia. The program involved 15 programming days over a 10–12-week period. There were small to moderate short- and longer-term improvements in life effectiveness, psychological well-being, and several aspects of behavioural conduct. There were no positive longer-term impacts on psychological distress and some aspects of behaviour. Thematic analysis of 14 participant interviews identified six major themes: overcoming challenging backgrounds, contending with adversity, personal development, social development, motivation to work for change, and a more optimistic outlook on the future. Further research utilising a comparison group, multiple sources of data, and a larger sample could help to qualify results and increase generalisability

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