Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Promoting resilience and well-being for indigenous adolescents in Canada: connecting to the good life through an outdoor adventure leadership experience
Authors: Ritchie, Stephen D.
Keywords: Resilience;Adventure Therapy;Community-Based Participatory Research;Outdoor Education
Issue Date: 21-May-2014
Publisher: Laurentian University of Sudbury
Abstract: Background: Promoting mental health for Indigenous youth in Canada is a well-documented priority. Indigenous approaches to health promotion share similarities with the holistic process in outdoor adventure and experiential education contexts. The purpose of this study was to develop, implement, and evaluate an Outdoor Adventure Leadership Experience (OALE) for Indigenous adolescents from one First Nations community in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. Methods: Principles of community-based participatory research were used to guide this mixed method study that included three phases. Phase 1 involved the development of a culturally relevant OALE intervention. The intervention was available to adolescents, aged 12-18 years, living in Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve. Phase 2 consisted of a quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of the OALE, based on participant self-report. It focused primarily on assessing resilience using the 14-Item Resilience Scale (RS-14). Using an ethnographic approach, Phase 3 comprised a qualitative evaluation of the ways in which the OALE promoted resilience and well-being. Results: Phase 1 occurred over a period of 10 months (September 2008 to June 2009), and it resulted in the development of an intentionally designed 10-day OALE program. The program was implemented in the summer of 2009 and 2010 with 73 adolescent participants, aged 12-18 years. Results from Phase 2 revealed that there was a 3.40 point increase in mean resilience for the adolescent participants at one month post-OALE compared to one day pre-OALE (n=46, p=.011), but the improvement was not sustained one year later. Phase 3 results revealed that the OALE facilitated the development of resilience and well-being by helping the adolescents connect to Anishinaabe Bimaadziwin, an Ojibway concept that can be translated as the Good iv Life. Connecting involved an external experiential process of connecting with various aspects of creation and an internal reflective process of connecting within to different aspects of self. Conclusion: The OALE appears to be a program that helped the adolescents: (1) become more resilient in the short-term, and (2) become more aware of Anishinaabe Bimaadziwin (the Good Life) by providing opportunities for connecting with creation and self through a variety of experiences and reflections that were unique for each youth.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Rural and Northern Health - Doctoral theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Ritchie_Stephen_Doctoral_Thesis.pdf16.65 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail

Items in LU|ZONE|UL are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.