Title

Effects of American Summer Camps on Adolescent Social and Psychological Development

Author(s)

Kate O'KeefeFollow

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Psychology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

In previous studies focusing on the effects of summer camp programs on children throughout their prime developmental years, large pools of participants have been observed and measured from a parent or counselor's perspective. However, because of the speculative nature of visual observation, this study minimized the scale to approximately 353 campers and allowed each participant to respond independently to specially formulated survey questions based on those from a previous Canadian Summer Camp Research Project. Participant's answers were analyzed separately based on program length, age, and previous camp experience. This study hypothesized that the younger and newer a child is when exposed to summer camp environments, the more growth they would experience throughout the program. However, after a series of surveys were given to campers attending differently-lengthed sessions, data analysis revealed extremely varied growth patterns depending on the category of development being measured and indicated that further testing is required to reach any substantial conclusions. The results of this study add to previous research in the field of adolescent development on a small scale and reveal the complications that arise from a study based on the individual responses of young participants. However, due to the growing popularity of summer programs in America, further research in this area is needed for a better understanding of how adolescents respond to the structured conditions of American summer camps and how these programs impact those individuals as they utilize their acquired social and psychological skills throughout the transition from childhood to adulthood.

Location

Furman Hall 207

Start Date

3-28-2020 11:15 AM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 11:15 AM

Effects of American Summer Camps on Adolescent Social and Psychological Development

Furman Hall 207

In previous studies focusing on the effects of summer camp programs on children throughout their prime developmental years, large pools of participants have been observed and measured from a parent or counselor's perspective. However, because of the speculative nature of visual observation, this study minimized the scale to approximately 353 campers and allowed each participant to respond independently to specially formulated survey questions based on those from a previous Canadian Summer Camp Research Project. Participant's answers were analyzed separately based on program length, age, and previous camp experience. This study hypothesized that the younger and newer a child is when exposed to summer camp environments, the more growth they would experience throughout the program. However, after a series of surveys were given to campers attending differently-lengthed sessions, data analysis revealed extremely varied growth patterns depending on the category of development being measured and indicated that further testing is required to reach any substantial conclusions. The results of this study add to previous research in the field of adolescent development on a small scale and reveal the complications that arise from a study based on the individual responses of young participants. However, due to the growing popularity of summer programs in America, further research in this area is needed for a better understanding of how adolescents respond to the structured conditions of American summer camps and how these programs impact those individuals as they utilize their acquired social and psychological skills throughout the transition from childhood to adulthood.