ERIC Number: ED165927
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep-30
Reference Count: 0
Research and the Fallacy of Recidivism. Studies on Wilderness Programs for Troubled Youth.
Cardwell, G. R.
Past recidivism studies on adventure/wilderness programs for delinquent youth have suffered from several problems: lack of uniform definition and interpretation of recidivism; varying lengths of study time; different follow-up periods; provincial or state variance in returns to Training School or incarceration in an adult system and in the process for returns; failure to differentiate between type and severity of criminal offenses; and assumption of recidivism based on charge with an offense rather than judicial findings. Six recidivism studies, five on Project DARE, bear out these shortcomings. It behooves wilderness programs dealing with delinquent youth to establish criteria under which they wish to be evaluated. Two alternative evaluation criteria are economic (per diem program costs compared with costs in an institution) and the fitness factor (possible correlation between increase in physical fitness during program with increase in self-esteem). The key issue, however, in establishing alternative evaluation measures lies with demonstration of personal growth and social and physical functioning in a program that is replicable. Effective programming requires specification of (1) target behaviors/needs, (2) processes to achieve acquisition of new skills/attitudes, (3) logical reasons why processes should work, (4) desired outcome and expected duration of effect, and (5) expected level of success. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Outward Bound; Project DARE; Wilderness Education Programs
Note: Presented at the Annual Conference on Experiential Education (6th, St. Louis, Missouri, September 30, 1978)