Adventure therapy for youth with addictions in residential treatment: an analysis of program processes and proximate outcomes

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Nikkel, Lynette Joy
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This study evaluated a residential treatment center for youth with addictions that used processes of adventure therapy, family involvement, community, and relationships. The evaluation contributed to filling gaps in the literature by linking processes to proximate outcomes. A mixed methods design used quantitative data from 2005-2013 program statistics and 93 Resiliency Canada Questionnaires, as well as qualitative data from 17 formal interviews, 12 informal interviews, and observation of 12 participants. A program description was provided for context and transferability. Results indicated that (a) the program demonstrated fidelity with the logic model, (b) clients’ had raised awareness of strengths, (c) youth shared experiences of the impact of addiction, (d) youth lived healthy, substance-free lives, (e) positive family relationships were promoted, (f) youth increased resiliency, and (g) youth in the program for longer than a month maintained sobriety immediately afterwards and the majority (n=2) had long-term reduction in substance misuse.
social work, adventure therapy, program evaluation, addiction, residential treatment, adolescent, family