Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare: Its Impact on Family Functioning


The use of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) as a viable treatment modality for adolescents with behavioral, emotional, and substance use issues has been gaining increased attention. This research builds upon the literature by utilizing a longitudinal study to explore clinical changes, measured using the Youth Outcome Questionnaire (YOQ), and changes in family functioning as measured by the general functioning scale of the Family Assessment Device (FAD). Both clinically and statistically significant positive results with youth, mothers, and fathers at points of intake, discharge, and six months post discharge were found; however, parent and youth reports differed especially at six months post discharge. In addition, regression analyses showed that mothers and youth were more aligned than fathers in their perceptions of changes in family functioning post OBH treatment. This research fills a gap in the behavioral healthcare literature concerning the outcomes of using wilderness therapy and their association with family involvement in maintaining clinical change and improved family functioning


Social Work

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Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs



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