Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Bibliographies of Camp-related Research

Antisocial Children in a Summer Camp Environment:
A Time-Sampling Study

Feldman, R.A., Wodarski, J.S., & Flax, N.
Community Mental Health Journal, 11.1 (1975 )10-18

To integrate children labeled as antisocial into a residential camp for prosocial children and examine the effects on both groups of children. The hypothesis is that antisocial children can benefit from being placed with prosocial children rather than placement among other antisocial children for treatment.

Five boys, ages 9a to 12 ½, classified as antisocial, randomly chosen from a group of 53 children who were referred to a community based treatment program, were placed in a coed summer residential camp with a clientele of 81 boys and 75 girls age 9-16 years. Only the boys groups participated in the research. The subjects were broken up into 8 groups; 3 groups included placement of one antisocial subject, 1 group included placement of 2 antisocial subjects, and 4 groups had no antisocial subject placement. Three categories of subjects were available for study by this placement:

  1. Prosocial groups with no antisocial subjects assigned.
  2. Prosocial groups with antisocial subject assignment.
  3. Antisocial subjects assigned to prosocial groups.


  • Behavioral checklists of mean number of antisocial behaviors for antisocial subjects estimated by:
    • Personnel at the referral agencies
    • Parents
    • Children

Mean scores of the antisocial subjects were compared with mean scores for a sample of 260 children who were normally served by the sponsoring agency of the camp.

  • Nonparticipant observation, time sampled over three periods, by two trained observers : random selection of observation times, all children in the group observed, observers not informed that any children were antisocial, each subject in the group observed at 10 second intervals. Rating scaled on prosocial, antisocial and nonsocial behavior.


  • No evidence of long term negative effects on prosocial children was found.
  • No evidence of long term positive effects on antisocial children was found.
  • Prosocial children in unmixed groups:
    • Little incidence of antisocial behavior
    • Prosocial behavior increased over time
    • Nonsocial behavior decreased over time
  • Antisocial children in mixed groups:
    • Relatively low antisocial behavior
    • Relatively consistent prosocial behavior over time
    • High incidence of nonsocial behavior over time.
  • Prosocial children in mixed groups:
    • Slightly higher antisocial behavior in first time period, decreased continually over time.
    • Prosocial behavior similar to children in mixed group, though decreased in third time period.
    • More frequent nonsocial behavior in third time period.