Research in Outdoor Education




Means-end theory was used to analyze differences in outcomes from original and follow-up interviews occurring over the three subsequent years after Outward Bound (OB) and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course participation. In 2006, a semi-structured, in-person interview was conducted after participants (N=510) completed their course. In 2007, 2008, and 2009, semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of original participants. Results of this study show how OB and NOLS programs continue to increase participant self-respect, self-esteem, and self-confidence, provide a sense of accomplishment, and impart transferable lessons and skills three years after course participation. Understanding such participant outcomes allows program managers to effectively market programs, comprehend relationships between program attributes and participant outcomes, and design programs for specific outcomes.