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Ann Gillard, Clifton E. Watts, Peter A. Witt Texas A&M University INTRODUCTION Campers arrive at camp with a range of motivations to attend, from amotivation.

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Presentation on theme: "Ann Gillard, Clifton E. Watts, Peter A. Witt Texas A&M University INTRODUCTION Campers arrive at camp with a range of motivations to attend, from amotivation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ann Gillard, Clifton E. Watts, Peter A. Witt Texas A&M University INTRODUCTION Campers arrive at camp with a range of motivations to attend, from amotivation to external to internal motivations. Interest in positive activities such as those found at camp can be fostered by a camp climate that is supportive of youths’ needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Interest development has been shown to be one of several important developmental processes for youth as they develop their identities and activity preferences. The purpose of this study was to explore: (a) the extent to which campers felt that supports for autonomy, relatedness, and competence were afforded through their camp experiences; (b) how these supports interacted with motivational dispositions to influence interest in camp; and (c) how campers’ motivation to attend camp influenced their interest in camp. METHODS Surveys (n=169) were conducted with girls ages 9-16 (M=12.1) at the end of their sessions at a Girl Scout camp in PA during summer, Many of the measures in this study were adapted from previous measures used in self-determination and interest development research. Scale reliabilities ranged from.665 to % of respondents were African American, 66% were White, and the rest were Latina, Asian, or Other. ABSTRACT As we widen the circle to include more young people in our camps, it becomes increasingly important to structure these experiences so that campers develop interest in the activities and relationships found at camp. Engagement in these experiences is thought to lead to future well-being and functioning in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between campers’ motivation to attend camp, perceptions of camp’s support for their needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence, and interest in camp at the conclusion of camp. 169 female campers ages 9-16 completed questionnaires. The findings showed that girls who were amotivated to attend camp reported lower levels of interest in camp, even if they perceived a supportive camp climate. However, the gap between intrinsically and amotivated campers narrowed when they perceived camp as being supportive of their needs for competence and autonomy. Even when supports for autonomy and competence were low, internalized motivation was positively predictive of interest in camp. These data support the importance of internally motivated youth and a supportive camp climate (particularly in building competence and providing autonomy) in producing interest in camp. Such interest in positive endeavors such as camp can transfer into other parts of youth’s lives, as well as adulthood. RESULTS Camp Climate Findings Continued… Autonomy was also a strong predictor when campers were amotivated and externally motivated When provision of opportunities for competence and autonomy was high, it had great effects on external and amotivation Interest in camp was lowest when campers perceived that the provision of competence and autonomy was low. This was especially true for amotivated and externally motivated youth. HOW THIS RESEARCH CAN HELP ME It is vital to build interest to attend camp BEFORE camp begins – personal notes, calls, open houses, etc. can help to build relationships, comfort, and interest in attending At camp, staff should identify specific campers who were amotivated or externally motivated to attend, and intervene to provide them with choices and chances to build skills Clear, explicit progression and competence- building, as well as provisions of autonomy in and through camp programs is believed to lead to campers’ increased interest in camp Relationship support permeates through all interactions with peers and staff, and during all activities – ensure that campers experience strong relationships so that support of autonomy and competence is deemed authentic and meaningful Motivation to Participate, Perceptions of Climate, and Interest in Camp in Adolescent Girls 2007 ACA Camp Research Symposium, Austin, Texas Motivation Findings Internalized motivation to attend camp was positively and significantly predictive of interest in camp Externalized motivation to attend camp showed no association with interest in camp Amotivation to attend camp was negatively and significantly predictive of interest in camp Camp Climate Findings Competence and autonomy support accounted for % of the variance associated with interest in camp Relatedness was not found to be a significant predictor of interest in camp Competence was found to be the strongest positive and significant predictor of interest in camp, especially when campers were amotivated and externally motivated


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