Date of Award


Degree Name

Specialist in Education



First Advisor

Dr. Howard E. Farris

Second Advisor

Dr. Neil Kent

Third Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Although a plethora of studies have linked experiences in adventure education to the enhancement of self-concept, virtually all have been faulted on methodological grounds. In this study the inferential leap from test performance to actual behavior was narrowed, if not eliminated, by utilizing systematic direct observation as an alternative to self-reports. A single behavior, hugs, was isolated as an indicator of self-concept. Eighth grade Outdoor Education students were observed over a baseline period, then engaged in a short-term, intense, adventure education experience. A second baseline revealed an appreciable increase in the rate of hug behavior under select circumstances. The data also hint at the influence activity sequence can have on producing overt effective behavior. These results support the hypothesis that adventure activities can positively impact self-concept.