Research in Outdoor Education




The purpose of this study was to (1) identify which activities in a seven-day outdoor-based program most related to adolescents’ identity awareness and (2) investigate potential changes in participants’ identity awareness. Seventy-four adolescents aged 16 – 18 with serious illnesses (e.g., cancer, sickle cell disease) answered an open-ended question about a time during the program when they “discovered who they were,” and completed an 11-item identity awareness scale. Results showed that structured activities (e.g., night climb, fire council) and unstructured activities (e.g., personal reflection, talking with others) most related to participants’ identity awareness, and that identity awareness increased some or a lot for nearly all participants. Implications for practice and research are discussed.