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ERIC Number: EJ821797
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1472-9679
The Emotional Dynamics of a Group during a Challenge Course Experience
Rothwell, Erin Witter; Siharath, Kassidy; Badger, Holly; Negley, Sandra; Piatt, Jennifer
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, v8 n2 p113-131 Dec 2008
The purpose of this study was to explore a new framework for understanding group dynamics during a challenge course experience. Traditional views of group dynamics emphasize sequential stages of development, but these frameworks tend to neglect the emotional aspect of group dynamics. The group process usually includes an emotional experience, and assessing the emotional dynamics may provide researchers with another variable to assess what is happening within the group context. Challenge course experiences are structured to induce specific group emotions by the choice and sequence of initiatives to enhance development and cohesiveness. Utilizing a Bales-type of interaction analysis, the emotional behaviours of a group during a complete challenge course experience were assessed. Of the seven emotional categories investigated, avoidant or evasive verbal behaviors (flight) were the most common category followed by verbal behaviors that expressed reliance or desire for leadership (dependency), and also verbal behaviors that rejected current leadership (counterdependency). More in-depth descriptive research is needed to understand how groups respond emotionally to challenge course initiatives. (Contains 5 tables, 3 figures and 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A