This study investigated the presence and roles of Child Life Specialists (CLSs) in camps for children coping with chronic illnesses and conditions. The current research project surveyed 118 camp coordinators and directors regarding their awareness of CLSs as well as the presence and roles of these professionals at their camps. Additionally, 61 Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLSs) were surveyed about their main responsibilities at camp and subjective beliefs regarding the effects of camp on children's health related quality of life (HRQoL). Further areas explored in this research included the applicability of Child Life education and training in the camp environment, Child Life motivations for joining the camp community, and CCLSs' previous experiences in this setting both as campers and counselors. Results indicated that the majority of camp coordinators and directors were aware of CLSs prior to this study as well as indicated that CLSs had worked at their camp. This subset of participants was also significantly more likely to be interested in bringing a CLS or additional specialists to their camp. Further results indicated that CLSs hold a wide range of roles and responsibilities in the camp setting, both paid and volunteer-based. All CCLSs indicated that they felt attending camp had positive effects upon children's HRQoL, particularly in the areas of psychosocial development and coping, as further illustrated by first-hand anecdotes from their time at camp.
|Advisor:||Shimpi, Priya, Perez, Linda|
|Commitee:||Perez, Linda, Shimpi, Priya, Susan, Marchant|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 51/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Health sciences, Public health|
|Keywords:||Camp, Child life specialist, Chronic illness, Presence, Quality of life, Roles|
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