A quasi-experimental design was used to examine the influence of challenging recreation in improving parent-adolescent communication. Different levels of challenging family outdoor recreation were considered as a potential factor for increasing open parent-adolescent communication. Thirty-two families (n = 114) participated in one of four groups, three treatment groups representing high, medium and low challenge and a control group. The Parent-Adolescent Relationship/Communication Scale (PARCS) was used to measure parent-adolescent open communication. Qualitative interviews were conducted to provide contextual meaning for the findings from the quantitative analysis. Results indicated that challenging recreation, no matter the level of intensity, can improve parent-adolescent communication. Partial support was also found for the hypothesis that higher degrees of challenge would manifest more open parent-adolescent communication. Analysis of the qualitative data resulted in a conceptual map that describes the possible conditions and outcomes that families experience through challenging outdoor recreation.
Author Christy Huff, Mark Widmer, Kelly McCoy, Brian Hill
Volume Vol 37, No 1 (2003)