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Recreation as a Developmental Experience: Theory Practice Research: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 130

ISBN: 978-1-118-11527-5
144 pages
August 2011, Jossey-Bass
Recreation as a Developmental Experience: Theory Practice Research: New Directions for Youth Development, Number 130 (1118115279) cover image
It's not all "fun and games." A growing body of research suggests that recreation activities can be powerful development contexts when they are properly framed and intentionally designed. This volume highlights much of that research, and the articles that follow provide ample evidence that well-framed recreation activities and contexts can provide a range of positive developmental outcomes.

Editors Lawrence R. Allen and Robert J. Barcelona draw on their own work in human and youth development and have assembled contributing authors who explore the important of meaningful recreation and leisure experiences in the lives of youth and the value of recreation from a developmental perspective. Chapters focus on the developmental potential of specific recreation contexts and settings and provide research and evidence-based strategies outlining the activities that best promote positive youth development. Finally, the volume demonstrates how recreation is being used to strengthen individual and community assets and its role as a contributor in addressing pressing social issues.

This is the 130th volume of New Directions for Youth Development, the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series dedicated to bringing together everyone concerned with helping young people, including scholars, practitioners, and people from different disciplines and professions. The result is a unique resource presenting thoughtful, multi-faceted approaches to helping our youth develop into responsible, stable, well-rounded citizens.

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Issue Editors' Notes 1
Lawrence R. Allen, Robert J. Barcelona

Executive Summary 5

1. Leisure, recreation, and play from a developmental context 13
Linda L. Caldwell, Peter A. Witt
This article provides a platform for this special issue on recreation and youth development by examining how and under what conditions play, recreation, and leisure contribute to adolescent development.

2. Positive youth development within a family leisure context: Youth perspectives of family outcomes 29
Peter J. Ward, Ramon B. Zabriskie
This article presents an extensive review of the literature on family leisure and its impact on youth development, and addresses implications for families and youth programs.

3. Back to the future: The potential relationship between leisure and education 43
David S. Fleming, Lawrence R. Allen, Robert J. Barcelona
The authors propose a series of four developmental stages for a more purposeful integration of leisure and educational outcomes.

4. Recreation as a component of the community youth development system 59
Corliss Outley, Jason N. Bocarro, Chris T. Boleman
This article provides an overview of how recreation fits in a community youth development framework and focuses on three case examples.

5. Youth development and the camp experience 73
Barry A. Garst, Laurie P. Browne, M. Deborah Bialeschki
A comprehensive overview of the evidence linking camp participation and a range of positive youth development outcomes is presented, including a discussion of ongoing American Camp Association research efforts across a range of camp settings and contexts.

6. Outdoor–based play and reconnection to nature: A neglected pathway to positive youth development 89
Fran P. Mainella, Joel R. Agate, Brianna S. Clark
This article outlines the arguments for a new outdoor-based play movement and discusses some programs and initiatives engaged in the effort.

7. Adventure-based programming: Exemplary youth development practice 105
Jim Sibthorp, Cass Morgan
This article outlines the evidence for adventure-based programs as prototypes of ideal positive youth development settings, and discusses the features of adventure programs that make them developmental.

8. A competency-based approach to preparing staff as recreation and youth development leaders 121
Robert J. Barcelona, Amy R. Hurd, Jennifer A. Bruggeman
This article outlines the competencies of recreation and youth development professionals, and discusses methods and examples for integrating competency models through academic preparation, continuing education, and staff training.

9. Reframing recreation as a public policy priority 141
Phillip Lovell
The author, an advocate for education policy, discusses the potential role of recreation in addressing a wide range of academic and social issues, and provides suggestions for reframing the recreation field to gain traction with key funders and policymakers.

Index 151

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