Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name


First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis


This study examines the effects of adventure-based counseling on the enhancement of coping skills of at-risk youth. Adventure-based counseling is an innovative form of therapy designed to enhance the coping skills of at-risk youth receiving treatment at residential facilities. This unique form of therapy is a burgeoning alternative to traditional forms of therapy. It places patients in a group setting (supervised by a counselor), for the purpose of attaining a specific goal through interaction with group members. Adventure-based counseling, a form of experiential learning, has not been widely adopted by facilities seeking to provide treatment services to youth diagnosed with at-risk behavior.

Based on empirical data, a large number of adventure therapy studies reviewed were not related to residential facilities; rather, they were independent studies conducted by researchers trying to assess the effects of adventure-based counseling in relation to youth. This study sought to determine the effect of adventure-based counseling on enhancing the coping skills of at-risk youth at Inner Harbor Hospital, a residential treatment facility in Douglasville, Georgia. This study was conducted to assess the effect of adventure-based counseling. Experiential therapists were interviewed to determine whether or not desired outcomes were being achieved through the interaction of patients in experiential activities. Patients from various campsites/units at Inner Harbor were used as the sample studied, and five experiential counselors were interviewed to assess the effects of adventure-based counseling. The findings suggested that there was a relationship between adventure-based counseling and the enhancement of coping skills, despite the many limitations of the study which imply that further research is needed.

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