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ERIC Number: ED412040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Eustress Paradigm: A Strategy for Decreasing Stress in Wilderness Adventure Programming.
Estrellas, Anjanette
This essay proposes that stress has been misused in traditional adventure education and presents a new model of risk taking based on the literature on stress and feminist perspectives in adventure education. Proponents of the traditional adventure perspective state that the intentional use of stress is central to the change process in wilderness therapy, and that raising stress by exaggerating the level of risk sets the stage for a potentially transformative experience. On the other hand, practitioners working from a feminist perspective seek to minimize stress, engage in dialogue about risk, and promote personal power and choice in order to create the necessary conditions to encourage "authentic risk taking" and facilitate "eustress" (psychologically beneficial stress). Eustress is not dependent on task completion but rather, is manifested through an individual's subjective experience. The nine conditions promoting eustress include self-awareness, self-determination, and taking pleasure in the success of coping activities. The negative outcomes of stress far outweigh its benefits and may be long-term. The seven elements of a model for promoting eustress in adventure education are presented through a narrative about a woman participating in a 3-day canoe outing. These elements are: seeing each individual as the beginning point, preparing for risk taking, entering into a novel setting, allowing choice, supporting authentic risk taking, evaluating experience, and seeing the individual as the ending point. Contains 33 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A