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ERIC Number: EJ967601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1053-8259
Adolescents in Wilderness Therapy: A Qualitative Study of Attachment Relationships
Bettmann, Joanna E.; Olson-Morrison, Debra; Jasperson, Rachael A.
Journal of Experiential Education, v34 n2 p182-200 Fall 2011
Characterized by acute changes in attachment relationships, adolescence is a time of balancing autonomy and attachment needs. For adolescents in wilderness therapy programs, the setting often challenges their understanding of their own attachment relationships. The current study evaluates the narratives of 13 adolescents in a wilderness therapy program in an attempt to understand their attitudes toward parents, therapists, and other adult figures. Results showed that while participants cited the importance of trusting adults in their lives, they also reported a general lack of trust between parents and themselves. The majority of participants reported rebelling against boundaries set by parents. They also described relationships with mothers negatively, characterizing mothers as controlling and strict. The findings of this study provide insight into working with adolescents by pointing to what are often unseen relational dynamics in treatment. Findings illustrate the need for relational interventions in wilderness therapy that support the formation of adolescents' healthy relational dynamics. (Contains 1 footnote.)
Association for Experiential Education. 3775 Iris Avenue Suite 4, Boulder, CO 80301. Tel: 866-522-8337; Fax: 303-440-9581; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah