Bibliographies of Camp-related Research
Dependency and Distress at Summer Camp
Fichman, L., Koestner, R., & Zuroff, D.G.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 26.2 (1997) 217-232
Measure adaptation to sleep away camp in terms of levels of dependency, self criticism, and psychological distress as manifested by depression and low self-esteem.
Three groups of campers:
- 57 attending a local day camp
- 75 returning residential campers
- 22 first time residential campers
All children were from upper to middle class families and ranged in ages from 8-16. All campers attended camp for a period between 4 to 6 weeks. Age and gender means were proportionally equal between groups.
Depressive Experiences Questionnaire for Adolescents (DEQ-A), Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC), Perceived Competence Scale for Children, 4-point scale to determine subjects perception of "interpersonal resources at camp".
- No gender differences for depression, self-esteem or self-criticism; marginal difference in dependency measures with girls scoring slightly higher than boys.
- No relationship between age and self-criticism or dependency; significant positive relation between age and self-esteem; significant negative relation between age and depression.
- Significant positive relationship between dependency and self-criticism, but no differences across the groups.
- Significant negative relationship between depression and self-esteem.
- Significant reports of greater distress among younger subjects.
- Slight negative relationship between dependency and distress in day campers; Slight positive relationship between dependency and distress in returning residential campers; Strong positive relationship between dependency and distress in first time residential campers.
- No relation between self-criticism and distress to the type of camp or past camp experience.
- Maintaining contact with family and friends at home and establishing a best friendship at camp reported as main variables to help highly dependent campers have fun at camp.