Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Efficacy of a Summer Day Camp Program Intervention on Social Skills. 
Dickey, M.R.
Doctoral Dissertation, Boston University, 1996.

Determine the effect of social skills training in a therapeutic, activity-based summer day camp program on self-perception and social skills deficits of children ages 5-15.

64 children ages 5-15.

Method: The nine-week coed day camp program ran from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM from Monday to Thursday and from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon on Fridays. Campers in the study attended for at least 3 weeks. The program was designed to improve self-confidence and social skills while emphasizing cooperation, active participation, and physical success. Counselors helped campers set individual behavioral goals each day and used a token economy to reinforce desirable behaviors.


  • Harter's Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children: measured perceived competence of 5-7 year old campers.
  • Self-Perception Profile: measured perceived competence of 8-15 year old campers.
  • Social Skills Deficit Scale: used by mothers to rate campers' behavior (validity and reliability not established).
  • Direct Observation Scale: used by trained observers to rate campers' behavior (validity and reliability not established).


  • Four girls and 33 boys in the treatment group, four girls, 23 boys in the control group.
  • Pre-test/post-test design, with tests administered during first two days and last two days of camp session.
  • SSD Testing based on videotapes of camper behavior during cooperative games and group discussion.


  • Significant pre-test differences between treatment and control groups on status of parents living in subject's household.
  • Significant decrease on post-test in maternal acceptance domain for 5-7 year old control group.
  • Significant decrease in social skills deficits on Direct Observation Scale for camper group.
  • Significant post-test increase in perceived thinking and problem-solving ability for 5-7 year old campers.
  • No significant difference in self-concept for 8-15 year olds.