A concept mapping study of the perceived benefits of a therapeutic and recreational camp for grieving children
Nettina, Julie M
MetadataShow full item record
The primary purpose of this study was to identify and describe the specific beneficial elements of Camp Comfort, an innovative weekend grief support program for children. The sample of children included 29 boys and girls who had lost a member of their family in the past year. The study used an empirically rigorous methodology known as concept mapping. The children participated in a three step research process including brainstorming the benefits of camp, sorting and rating the camp benefits, and completing standardized scales of quality of life, depression and coping. A five cluster model of camp benefits was constructed including Attachment and Connections, Traditional Camp, Acceptance and Expression, Escape from Grief-related Stress at Home, and Kid-Friendly Environment. There were significant changes in the direction of healthy coping on several scales for both the younger and older children. No changes were observed on the measures of depression or quality of life. The implications of the benefits concept map and suggestions for research and practice are considered.