‘That’s given me a bit more hope’ – adolescent girls’ experiences of Forest School

Jillian Manner, Larry Doi, Yvonne Laird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Forest School is an outdoor learning program aimed at improving wellbeing and resilience. Few studies discuss Forest School experiences from the viewpoint of adolescent girls, particularly those with mental health risk factors. The study’s aim was to explore the experiences of adolescent girls involved in a Forest School program in Scotland. An interpretive approach, using qualitative interviews captured the experiences of eight girls, who were considered at risk for mental health problems, participating in a Forest School program in rural Scotland. Data were analysed using thematic analysis, which facilitated understanding the complexity of meaning participants attached to their experiences. Four main themes were identified from interviews; mental wellbeing and resilience, community and social interaction, learning, and perception of Forest School. Most participants felt the program positively affected their mood, confidence, social skills and relationships, which went beyond the Forest School setting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChildren's Geographies
Early online date26 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • youth development
  • nature
  • adolescent mental health
  • outdoor education
  • Forest School

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