Research in Outdoor Education




Outdoor adventure education programs are strategically positioned to provide a multitude of positive social outcomes for youth. The social connections adolescents develop with their peers are critically important for positive youth development. This study sought to understand how sense of belonging develops within a wilderness-based outdoor adventure education program while using a dynamical systems theory (DST) framework and analysis. The findings showed that group-based components, such as process conflict influenced the rate of change while instructor support increased the level of sense of belonging students felt. Implications for research and practice are discussed.