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Preliminary Findings from a Meta-Analysis of Adventure Therapy Program Effects

Abstract

This study conducted a meta-analysis of studies that empirically report on participant outcomes for adventure therapy programs, and examined variation in these outcomes across different types of participants and programs. The results are based on 2,356 effect sizes, from 175 unique samples located within 166 studies. Results are reported for three treatment groups (Adventure Therapy Treatment, Alternative Treatment, and No Treatment) and, where available, are broken down across three time comparisons (Base-Pre, Pre-Post, and Post-Follow-Up).  The average standardised mean effect size for the treatment group from Base-Pre was .09, Pre-Post was .47, and Post-Follow-Up was .05, which compared favourably to neglible effect sizes for the Alternative and No Treatment groups (< .1). Additionally, moderator variables were assessed for changes in the Adventure Therapy Treatment group Pre-Post. In most instances, findings indicated no clear or notable moderator effects, providing further support for the robustness of the overall moderate effectiveness of adventure therapy, and for the use of findings from this study for benchmarking program effectiveness. 

Click here for a copy of the paper presented at the 6IATC Conference.
Click here for summary Information from Bowen and Neill’s (2012) Meta-Analysis.

Results

Table 1
Overall Effect Sizes for Treatment Group by Time comparison

 

                Adventure Therapy Treatment

              Alternative Treatment

                No Treatment

Time

                g

                V

             N

               g

               V

              N

               g

               V

               N

Base-Pre

.09

.00

55






Pre-Post

.47

.00

1424

.13

.00

213

.03

.00

194

Post-FU

.05

.00

330

   -.03

.00

91

-.08

.00

49

Note: g = Hedges’ g; V = Variance; N = Number of Effect Sizes.