Adventure therapy effects on self-concept

Corinna Fleischer, M.Sc. Psych.


Self-concept change has been proposed as a key driver of behavioral change through ad-venture therapy. Through exploratory moderator analysis we tried to identify process variables that influence the effect of adventure therapy on self-concept to contribute to a deeper understanding of why and when adventure therapy works. This meta-analysis in-cludes thirty studies that report effects of adventure therapy programs on three aspects of self-concept: locus of control, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. Short-term effect sizes of the impact of adventure therapy on self-concept were moderate. The revealed high het-erogeneity of effect sizes could not be explained by any of the examined moderating vari-ables. The follow-up effects confirmed a lasting self-concept change. Limitations and al-ternative explanations of the results are discussed. Future research needs to focus on psychological processes involved in adventure therapy and strive towards high methodo-logical quality.

Keywords: Adventure Therapy; self-efficacy; self-esteem; locus of control; meta-analysis

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