Mar 1, 2017
Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma
Child abuse is epidemic in the United States and has dire long-term consequences. Innovative interventions are needed to address the negative cognitive, affective and behavioral effects of child abuse. This mixed-method study examined if adventure therapy is 1) an effective mental health intervention for child and adolescent survivors of abuse and neglect, and 2) an effective intervention for families affected by abuse and neglect. The effectiveness of the adventure therapy intervention was measured by a reduction in child trauma symptoms and improved family functioning, as reported via the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (TSCC), the Family Assessment Device (FAD), as well as qualitative data gathered via family focus groups. Findings showed that trauma-informed adventure therapy with youth and families affected by abuse reduces trauma symptomology in youth and improves family functioning, particularly in the areas of communication, closeness and problem-solving skills.