Adventure-based, outdoor experiential, and wilderness expedition programs offer participants a unique form of psychological, educational, emotional and physical challenges. Through these challenges, participants are encouraged to confront their fears and their self-identity in the context of the wilderness group while potentially gaining an improved sense of independent identity through their self-perceptions and locus of control. The purpose of this study is to (a) explore Wilderness Leadership Training Courses (WLTC’s) influences on self-perceptions and locus of control on individual roles within groups, and (b) determine if differences exist between the perceptions of individual participant roles that each subject demonstrates in wilderness groups and the perceptions of peers in those same groups. Study participants were individuals who participated in Wilderness Education Association (WEA) WLTC’s across the nation through the Spring and Summer of 2010. This study implemented the use of the Rotter I-E scale (Rotter, 1966) and the Individual Roles with Group Questionnaire (IRGQ). The instruments utilized in this study provided a dualistic approach to gathering data, both qualitative and quantitative. The Rotter I-E Scale, measuring an individuals internal or external locus of control with forced choice questions (Rotter, 1966), was used in over 45 previous studies (Hans, 2000). The IRGQ was developed as a tool by this researcher, which utilized self-reporting survey questionnaires containing both closed and open-ended questions. The data were analyzed using the Borda Count method, one-tailed proportion testing, and direct comparison analysis techniques used for hypothesis testing. The study revealed that differences exist between individuals’ perceptions of themselves and the perceptions of their peers in the same wilderness groups. The study also showed that differences exist between individuals pre- and post-test perceptions of themselves. Locus of Control results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the pre- and post-test analysis. This study also discusses the implications to the field of Outdoor Experiential Education and recommendations for future research.
|Advisor:||Pawelko, Katharine A.|
|Commitee:||Adkins, K. Dale, McGowan, Michael L.|
|School:||Western Illinois University|
|Department:||Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 49/03M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social psychology, Psychology, Recreation|
|Keywords:||Experiential education, Leadership, Locus of control, Outdoor recreation, Self-perception, Wilderness Education Association (WEA)|
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