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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Stress and coping in the context of adventure education: Testing a hypothetical model of perceived psychological growth
by Yoshino, Aiko, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2008, 214; 3331351
Abstract (Summary)

Objectives. The study investigated multidimensional psychological stress and coping responses in the context of adventure education. This study also developed and examined a hypothetical model that explains how stress appraisal, coping response, and perceived success influence perceived psychological growth.

Methods. The sample consisted of participants who completed an Outward Bound New Zealand course (N=372). The instruments included modified version of the following instruments: Stressor Inventory (Robinson & Stevens, 1990), Stress Appraisal Measurement (Peacock & Wong, 1990), Brief COPE (Park & Blumberg, 2002), perceived success (Skehill, 2001), Resilience Scale (Wagnild & Young, 1993) and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (Tedeschi & Calhoum, 1996), in addition to selected demographic and outdoor experience information. Both statistical analyses (e.g., confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling) as well as qualitative data analysis (e.g., data coding) were employed.

Results. Among the numerous stressors that the participants reported, the major causes of stress were associated with the intensity and the novelty of the natural environments and the activities that they experienced during the course. Specific types of stress appraisal predicted certain kind of coping strategies (e.g., the higher level of challenge predicted the more use of problem-focused coping). Global concepts of coping had the strongest relationship with perceived psychological growth rather than stress or success. In particular, social support and problem-focused were found to be most effective coping.

Conclusion. Participants who reported greater perceived threats and did not use active coping strategies appear to be at risk of diminishing perceived psychological growth. Coping responses generally act as an asset and sometimes even as a buffer of the relationship between perceived stress and perceived psychological growth.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ewert, Alan
Commitee: Alexander, Joyce, McCormick, Bryan P., Russell, Ruth
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Recreation, Education philosophy
Keywords: Adventure, Adventure education, Coping, Education, Growth, Psychological growth, Resilience, Stress
Publication Number: 3331351
ISBN: 978-0-549-89318-9
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