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Rural Recreation for Resilience: Youth Development and Life Skill Outcomes in 4 H Ontario Horse Clubs

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dc.contributor.advisor Fitzgibbon, John
dc.contributor.author Sansom, Heather
dc.date.accessioned 2018-07-23T17:55:34Z
dc.date.available 2018-07-23T17:55:34Z
dc.date.copyright 2018-07
dc.date.created 2018-07-09
dc.date.issued 2018-07-23
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10214/13965
dc.description.abstract Canada has widely acknowledged deficits in population physical and mental health, especially for marginalised populations such as those in rural areas. Low scores on youth wellbeing create a need for new options to promote physical activity and psycho-social skill development. While there are lower health indicators for rural areas, they are rich in assets for contextually relevant physical recreation and youth development activities. Equine activity, that is an Olympic sport, leisure activity, and physical and mental health therapy, is one such option. This study examined resilience and other life skills through participation in 4 H horse clubs. 4-H is an international youth development organization that has been in Canada for over 100 years. Arising at the same time as Scouts and other established youth development organizations, 4-H was uniquely dedicated to the needs of rural communities. Today clubs are in urban and rural areas, with a variety of topics. They are community-based, low-cost, and often inclusive of persons with different abilities. Horse clubs were targeted because of the wealth of literature available on therapeutic equine activity, and because of 4 H’s unique use of this form of physical recreation within a positive youth development framework. The study used a three-phase, mixed-method approach within a resilience lens: 1) an online survey to all horse club members (536, n = 56) and leaders (105, n = 4) across Ontario incorporating the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM-28) and Schwarzer and Jerusalem Self-Efficacy Scales; 2) key informant interviews (n = 10); and 3) group youth interviews with image elicitation (5 clubs, n = 30). Youth with different needs due to disability, cognitive ability, family situation, social status or other risk factors were included. Findings indicated high levels of resilience resources. Participants described resilience, together with other outcomes such as confidence and transferrable social and workforce skills. They also discussed processes that they felt facilitated these benefits. Findings are relevant to sport for positive youth development, therapeutic recreation, animal and nature-based programming, equine programming specifically, and to rural community development. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship 4-H Ontario, Mitacs Accelerate Research Award, Reverend Charles R. Wood Bursary, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Ploughshare Scholarship, Government of Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Private crowdsourced funding en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Guelph en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/ *
dc.subject rural mental health en_US
dc.subject resilience en_US
dc.subject positive youth development en_US
dc.subject sport for youth development en_US
dc.subject youth development through sport en_US
dc.subject therapeutic recreation en_US
dc.subject experiential learning en_US
dc.subject outdoor learning en_US
dc.subject green care en_US
dc.subject 4-H en_US
dc.subject equine assisted learning en_US
dc.subject equine facilitated en_US
dc.subject equine therapy en_US
dc.subject outdoor experiential learning en_US
dc.subject adventure therapy en_US
dc.subject well-being en_US
dc.subject equine based activity en_US
dc.subject equine assisted activity en_US
dc.subject mental health promotion en_US
dc.subject rural wellbeing en_US
dc.subject nature based therapy en_US
dc.subject animal based therapy en_US
dc.subject green physical activity en_US
dc.subject nature deficit en_US
dc.subject youth development en_US
dc.subject youth resilience en_US
dc.subject healthy communities en_US
dc.subject rural youth en_US
dc.subject recreation therapy en_US
dc.subject community recreation en_US
dc.subject recreation therapy en_US
dc.subject history of recreation in Canada en_US
dc.subject rural recreation en_US
dc.subject rational recreation en_US
dc.title Rural Recreation for Resilience: Youth Development and Life Skill Outcomes in 4 H Ontario Horse Clubs en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.degree.programme Rural Studies en_US
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.degree.department School of Environmental Design and Rural Development en_US
dc.degree.grantor University of Guelph en_US


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