Research in Outdoor Education




This study explored how adolescents' perception of the social climate on wilderness expedition courses related to changes in how they approached peer interactions. Contrary to the hypothesis, on average, their orientation toward adaptive peer interaction decreased (n=251) from pre- to postcourse test. The individual level predictors of change in peer interactions were student's perception of group cohesion, task orientation, instructor control; and at the group level, instructor perception of the fun or playfulness of the course, as well as the course make-up (i.e., having participants who have been on previous similar experiences). This research contributes to knowledge of how the social climate on outdoor education courses facilitates adaptive shifts in social motivation for youth.