Recreation Camp Attendance: A Way to Develop Social Skills?

Tyler Tapps, Matt Symonds, Timothy Baghurst, Dongwook Cho


Social competence is a necessary type of socializing which refers to the ability to get along with other people and knowingwhat kinds of behaviors are considered acceptable in various places and situations to avoiding embarrassing oneself or make others feel uncomfortable. As a result of social and cultural changes in the process of how children gain and develop social competence, more research is needed to determine where and how social competence is learned. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to see if social competence was different for college students who attended recreation camp consistently as children as compared to college students who never attended recreation camp when they were children. Participants were 48 college students split between those who did or did not attend a summer recreation camp during their youth. Each participant completed the Self-Efficacy Scale. There was no statistical difference between participants on Total Self-Efficacy and General Self-Efficacy, but participants who attended a recreation camp scored significantly higher on the Social Self-Efficacy subscale. Findings suggest that utilizing a well-organized recreation camp program can potentially produce long-term social and personal benefits to individuals, but further research is necessary with larger, and more diverse samples.

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