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A Brief Report on the Short-term Changes in the Psychosocial Competence of Young Adult Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Participants in a 2002 Colorado Outward Bound School Program

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James T. Neill

University of New Hampshire, 2002

Executive Summary

To date, very little attention has been paid to providing outdoor education programs to meet the particular developmental needs of young adult people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered (GLBT).  An exception has been a series of three programs conducted by the Colorado Outward Bound School in 2000 (9 participants), 2001 (12 participants) and 2002 (14 participants).  Program evaluations of the 2000 and 2001 programs found very high levels of change in personal effectiveness between the beginning and end of the programs.  The current report examined the outcomes of the 2002 program and found trends towards positive change in all eight areas of personal effectiveness, with three statistically significant changes and statistically significant, moderate overall change.  The strongest areas of change were for Self Confidence and Time Management.  Unlike the 2000 and 2001 results, the 2002 results did not find substantial changes in Task Leadership.  Some variations in the size of program outcomes can be expected when comparing small groups, nevertheless given the more moderate outcomes for the 2002 program it would be prudent for a close examination of course reports and participant feedback to be conducted to help support the interpretation of the quantitative results presented in this report.  The very high results of the 2000 and 2001 programs, plus the moderate results of the 2002 program, together support the value of providing tailored outdoor education experiences to support the personal development of young adults whose well-being may and personal life effectiveness may be at risk.

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