ArticlePDF Available

Changes in aspects of students' self-reported personal, social and technical skills during a six-week wilderness expedition in Arctic Greenland

Authors:
Article

Changes in aspects of students' self-reported personal, social and technical skills during a six-week wilderness expedition in Arctic Greenland

Abstract

This investigation focuses on students' self-reported changes in personal, social and technical skills that took place during a six-week long expedition to East Greenland. A 105-item pre–and post–expedition questionnaire was completed by 60 young expeditioners aged 16_ to 20. Before the expedition participants generally felt that they had high levels of skills and were well prepared for the expedition. Of the 49 items in the 105-item questionnaire which related to participants' personal, social and technical skills, 22 showed statistically significant differences from those expected by chance when tested using the chi-square test. In terms of their personal skills, participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p < 0.05) in their ability to avoid depression, avoid loneliness, set priorities, achieve goals, solve problems efficiently, cope with constant cold, enjoy isolation, manage time efficiently, maintain physical fitness, be enthusiastic, demonstrate confidence and set goals. In terms of social skills participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p < 0.05) in their ability to control their emotions, motivate others, organise others, live in crowded circumstances, lead through consultation with others and maintain personal hygiene. In terms of technical skills participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p = 0.05 or smaller) in their ability to prepare dehydrated food, tie on and use ropes in glacier travel, use crampons and take charge of rescuing a member of their party from a crevasse. These items indicate that participants learned about survival and general skills associated with expeditions as a result of experiencing the expedition. This analysis of self-reported changes in items relating to expedition participants' personal, social and technical skills shows that participants have rated themselves more highly at the end of the expedition in a range of useful social / leadership skills and personality traits. The question of whether these same skills and traits could be transferable to higher education, employment and life in future is raised as a futher area for research. The improved technical skills reported will be useful if the participants undertake further expeditions to similar wilderness areas in future, perhaps as leaders. The potential of the findings of this study for training future leaders on expeditions is considered. Findings from this study may also be worthy of consideration by companies and organisations involved in personal development and training programmes.
159
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning Vol 3(2), 159 - 169, 2003
Changes in Aspects of Students’ Self-reported Personal,
Social and Technical Skills During a Six-week
Wilderness Expedition in Arctic Greenland
Tim Stott
Liverpool John Moores University,UK
Neil Hall
University of Greenwich, UK
Abstract
This investigation focuses on students’ self-reported changes in personal, social and technical
skills that took place during a six-week long expedition to East Greenland. A 105-item pre–and
post–expedition questionnaire was completed by 60 young expeditioners aged 16_ to 20. Before
the expedition participants generally felt that they had high levels of skills and were well prepared
for the expedition. Of the 49 items in the 105-item questionnaire which related to participants’
personal, social and technical skills, 22 showed statistically significant differences from those
expected by chance when tested using the chi-square test. In terms of their personal skills,
participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p < 0.05) in their ability to avoid
depression, avoid loneliness, set priorities, achieve goals, solve problems efficiently, cope with
constant cold, enjoy isolation, manage time efficiently, maintain physical fitness, be enthusiastic,
demonstrate confidence and set goals. In terms of social skills participants self-reported statistically
significant changes (p < 0.05) in their ability to control their emotions, motivate others, organise
others, live in crowded circumstances, lead through consultation with others and maintain personal
hygiene. In terms of technical skills participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p
= 0.05 or smaller) in their ability to prepare dehydrated food, tie on and use ropes in glacier
travel, use crampons and take charge of rescuing a member of their party from a crevasse. These
items indicate that participants learned about survival and general skills associated with expeditions
as a result of experiencing the expedition.
This analysis of self-reported changes in items relating to expedition participants’ personal, social
and technical skills shows that participants have rated themselves more highly at the end of the
expedition in a range of useful social / leadership skills and personality traits. The question of
whether these same skills and traits could be transferable to higher education, employment and
life in future is raised as a futher area for research. The improved technical skills reported will be
useful if the participants undertake further expeditions to similar wilderness areas in future, perhaps
as leaders. The potential of the findings of this study for training future leaders on expeditions is
considered. Findings from this study may also be worthy of consideration by companies and
organisations involved in personal development and training programmes.
Background
A growing body of literature is now available which reports investigations of participants’ personal
gains from Adventure Education, Outward Bound, Outdoor Education or Wilderness experiences
(Barrett & Greenaway, 1995; Hattie, Marsh, Neill & Richards, 1997; Hopkins & Putnam, 1993;
160
Miles & Priest, 1990; Smith, 1989; Wurdinger, 1997). These kinds of activities have goals similar
to those stated by BSES expeditions (formerly British Schools Exploring Society), though they are
not always conducted in environments as severe or as challenging or may not involve wilderness
experiences of such duration as those used by BSES expeditions. These studies typically deal with
leadership skills, the improvement of self-concept, social skills development, reactions to challenge
and personality matters. In addition, the benefits of wilderness experiences to the individual and to
groups have been reported (Bunting, 1989; Friese, Hendee & Kinziger 1998; Gass, 1993; Gibson,
1979; Hendee & Brown, 1987; Miles, 1987; Sakofs, 1992; Smith, 1996) but to date there have
been few attempts to assess the benefits for participants of BSES expeditions in polar environments.
There has been much interest in psychological changes and functioning of members of polar
expeditions (Gunderson, 1974; Gunderson & Palinkas, 1991; Leon, McNally & Porath, 1989;
Leon, 1991; Mocellin, Suedfeld, Bernadelz & Barbarito,1991; Palinkas, Suedfeld & Steel., 1995;
Suedfeld, 1991; Suedfeld, Steel, Palonkas, 1992; Suedfeld, 2001), how self image, social relations
and personality influence performance in over–wintering Antarctic expeditions (Palinkas & Johnson,
1990; Rosnet, LeScanff & Sagal, 2000) and in the psychophysiological characteristics of arctic
expedition members (Heller, Musacchia & Wang, 1985; Koscheyev, Roschina & Makhov, 1994).
While most of these studies have investigated the responses of trained, often professional, adults
on over–wintering Antarctic expeditions or, in one case a successful North Pole expedition (Leon
et al., 1989), there have been fewer studies of young adults and how they adapt to, cope with and
even benefit from polar or arctic expedition experiences. Exceptions to this include the studies of
Watts, Webster, Morley, and Cohen, 1992; 1993a; Watts, Apps, and East, 1993b; Watts, Cohen, and
Toplis,1994, who investigated expedition stress, personality changes and cognitive strategies for
coping with expedition stress on BSES expeditions and more recently Allison (1998, 2002) has
reported observations from a phenomenological study of a BSES expedition to South West
Greenland. The latter study reported on emerging themes concerned with participants’ reflection
on values, life and career plans, friendships and relationships, connectedness to self and society,
environmental appreciation and post residential adjustment.
BSES Expeditions
BSES expeditions, formerly The British Schools Exploring Society, is a UK based charity located
at the Royal Geographical Society in London and was founded in 1932 by the late Surgeon
Commander G. Murray Levick, a member of Scott’s last Antarctic expedition of 1910–13. As such
it is one of the longest running organisations of its kind. For 70 years it has organised exploratory
expeditions for young people to remote regions with leaders drawn from universities, teaching,
medical professions, industry and the services. In 1998 the Society elected to change its name to
“BSES expeditions”. It has among its aims the development of character of young adults, the
pursuit of scientific knowledge and challenging the individual to greater heights. The vehicle for
these aims is participation in expeditions that encompass scientific fieldwork, trekking (first called
“the long march” by Commander Murray Levick) and survival skills in extreme environments.
Traditionally the expeditions were to arctic environments, but more recently the range of venues
has been broadened to include tropical and sub–tropical locations. Members of BSES expeditions
write scientific reports of their investigations, sometimes including reference to some non–scientific
aspects of the expedition or investigation. Consequently, BSES research expedition reports focus
largely on the scientific aims of the organisation, and to a much lesser extent on matters associated
with personal development, emotional change, reflection or creativity, and learning. Yet for each
Changes in Aspects of Students’ Self-reported Personal, Social and Technical Skills During a Six-week Wilderness
Expedition in Arctic Greenland
161
individual, the experience of the expedition is likely to prove to be one of life’s significant
experiences. BSES expeditions recognise this in their aims, and want individuals to develop through
these experiences in severe environments. When the Society was founded it’s early name was the
Public Schools Exploring Society. Today, participants from private or independent schools and
colleges still represent the majority of the young people selected. This is by no means a deliberate
policy of BSES expeditions. Indeed their publicity material is deliberately distributed to every
secondary school in the UK with the aim of encouraging the widest possible participation. While
the geographical spread of participants includes a few from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales,
the vast majority are from English schools. It is also fair to say that most of the participants
selected are highly motivated, academically talented, have an adventurous spirit and are enthused
to take on such a challenge. However, few data are available to BSES expeditions or other similar
organisations that provide evidence of the success or otherwise of these kinds of aims.
This study is based on a 1998 expedition to Northeast Greenland with BSES expeditions. During
the expedition participants were split into six groups called “Fires” (each with 10–12 members).
Each Fire had two experienced leaders, and young expeditioners remained in these fires, usually in
physical isolation from the rest of the expedition, for all but the first few and last few days of the six
week period. Each fire used four tents for its members (three per tent) and one for the two leaders.
Fires maintained communication with other fires and with the Chief Leader via daily radio checks.
Leaders of each fire, sometimes with input from its members, designed and carried out at least one,
but sometimes two or three scientific projects which involved young expeditioners in data collection,
analysis and writing for at least two or three weeks. The topics of investigation included: geological
mapping and vegetation survey; survey and map making; glacier ablation; pro–glacial hydrology
and sediment transport; birds and mammals; vegetation and invertebrates. In addition to focusing
work on these studies, all fires carried out two or three weeks of “exploration” where expedition
participants were trained in crevasse rescue and glacier travel techniques before moving up to live
and travel on glaciers. As part of the adventure phase some fires climbed 800–1000 m peaks in the
southern Staunings Alps. Consequently, although fires did follow broadly the same programme
(which included some training, load carrying, science work and adventure), individuals within the
same fire, and in different fires, will have gained different knowledge, learned different skills,
developed different coping strategies and will have gained different things from their expedition.
This should be borne in mind when considering our results.
Methods
Sample
In total 70 young adults, 46 men and 24 women aged 16_ to 20, participated in the expedition. The
participants were selected from approximately 200 applicants, initially using a written application
as the mechanism for reducing the numbers and then an interview (by past BSES expedition leaders)
for the final selection. A compulsory residential meeting was held in the UK over two days in April
prior to the mid–July departure, where participants were divided into groups, undertook a range of
team building activities, were given briefings about equipment and skills that they would need and
had the opportunity to practice using some of the equipment they would be given for the expedition.
They were introduced to the kinds of levels of physical fitness that would be required. Information
about the expedition was shared and each participant was set the goal of raising 2800 pounds
sterling to cover costs associated with air fares, equipment, insurance and consumables.
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning 3(2)
162
Data gathering
A questionnaire was developed based on principles and ideas from Oppenheim (1966), Seymour
and Sudman (1983) and Hattie et al. (1997) and from one of the researchers previous experience of
a similar six-week BSES expedition four years earlier. The questionnaire contained 105-items that
were organised into five categories: expectations of the expedition, survival and general skills
associated with the expedition, scientific knowledge, creativity and reason for participation. For
each statement respondents were asked to score their personal feelings on a scale ranging from
strongly disagree (SD); disagree (D); cannot say (CS); agree (A); strongly agree (SA). While some
of the statements were concerned with knowledge, expectations and creativity, this paper focuses
on survival and general skills associated with the expedition and divides skills according to those
items concerned with personal, social and technical skills. A prototype of the questionnaire was
tested with two 19–year old university students who, being in the same age class as the young
expeditioners, were thought to represent a reasonable match with the sample population of expedition
participants. Wording of two statements in the questionnaire was modified in the light of this trial
to produce the final instrument. Approval was obtained from the University’s Ethics Committee to
conduct this study. The questionnaire was completed twice by each respondent to give a pre–and
post–expedition comparison. This allowed a comparison of participants’ self-reported views and
attitudes immediately prior to the expedition, with their self-reported views and attitudes immediately
after the expedition. Participants completed the questionnaire for the first time while waiting at
Heathrow airport for their flight to Iceland, and completed it for the second time on their return as
they waited in Iceland for their flight to England six weeks later. There was no compulsion about
completing the questionnaire and no time limits were set. When questionnaires were collated
some were incomplete or missing. This resulted in a total of 60 matched pre–and post–expedition
questionnaires (40 males, 20 females) that were available for analysis (from a possible maximum
of 70). Scores for the 105-items and 60 respondents were entered into a spreadsheet where pre–
and post–expedition frequency distributions for each item and each category were totalled. The
ordinal–scaled nature of the data required an appropriate non-parametric statistical test to compare
the pre–and post–expedition responses. The chi-square test was used to measure the difference
between the pre–and post–expedition datasets. Selected items were then grouped into three areas:
personal skills, social skills and technical skills.
Results and Discussion
Table 1 presents the chi-square values for the 49 selected items in the pre–and post–expedition
surveys and indicates the direction and statistical significance of those items which showed changes.
Changes in Aspects of Students’ Self-reported Personal, Social and Technical Skills During a Six-week Wilderness
Expedition in Arctic Greenland
163
Table Captions Table I:
Chi-Square values for selected items of the pre- and post-expedition questionnaire for the 1998
BSES East Greenland Expedition (level of statistical significance also indicated by *** = p <
0.001, ** = p < 0.01, * = p < 0.05)
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning 3(2)
At the moment,
in relation to extreme
environments, Chi-Square Significance Significant No Significant
I think I can: Value Level Improvement Change Deterioration
PERSONAL SKILLS
Avoid depression 11.54 0.05 *
Avoid loneliness 12.77 0.05 *
Set priorities 12.46 0.05 *
Motivate myself 9.45 ns *
Achieve goals 18.47 0.001 ***
Solve problems efficiently 12.19 0.05 *
Cope with constant cold 21.79 0.001 ***
Enjoy isolation 27.10 0.001 ***
Manage time efficiently 12.47 0.05 *
Maintain physical fitness 11.62 0.05 *
Be enthusiastic 11.30 0.05 *
Be self-reliant 5.68 ns *
Demonstrate confidence 11.54 0.05 *
Be independent 3.09 ns *
Be conscientious 9.10 ns *
Set goals 12.99 0.05 *
Be aware of my strengths
and weaknesses 8.76 ns *
Be adaptable 8.53 ns *
Be open to new ideas 4.11 ns *
Organise myself 7.50 ns *
SOCIAL SKILLS
Control my emotions 20.26 0.001 ***
Motivate others 13.96 0.01 **
Manage teams 3.81 ns *
Organise others 12.91 0.05 *
Lead others 3.78 ns *
Be assertive in groups 7.62 ns *
Cope with stress 8.13 ns *
Mediate in arguments 0.75 ns *
Make friends 4.43 ns *
Live in crowded circumstances 13.78 0.01 **
Lead through consultation
with others 11.57 0.05 *
Work with others 2.80 ns *
Be sensitive to the needs
of others 3.41 ns *
Maintain personal hygiene 10.70 0.05 *
Be co-operative 1.69 ns *
Table I continues overleaf >>
164
Changes in Self-reported Personal Skills
Table 1 shows that 20 of the 49 selected items from the questionnaire were associated with changes
in personal skills. Of these 12 (60%) showed a statistically significant improvement in this analysis.
Expedition participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p < 0.05) in their ability to
avoid depression, avoid loneliness, set priorities, achieve goals, solve problems efficiently, cope
with constant cold, enjoy isolation, manage time efficiently, maintain physical fitness, be enthusiastic,
demonstrate confidence and set goals. Self-reported improvements in their ability to achieve goals,
cope with constant cold and enjoy isolation were significant at the highest p < 0.001 level.
Changes in Self-reported Social Skills
Table 1 shows that 15 of the 49 selected items from the questionnaire were associated with changes
in social (or soft) skills. Of these 6 (40%) showed a statistically significant improvement in this
analysis. Expedition participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p < 0.05) in their
ability to control their emotions, motivate others, organise others, live in crowded circumstances,
lead through consultation with others and maintain personal hygiene. Self-reported improvements
in their ability to control their emotions was significant at the highest p < 0.001 level while ability
to motivate others and to live in crowded circumstances showed significant improvements at the p
< 0.01 level.
Changes in Aspects of Students’ Self-reported Personal, Social and Technical Skills During a Six-week Wilderness
Expedition in Arctic Greenland
TECHNICAL SKILLS
Prepare dehydrated food 10.37 0.05 *
Tie on and use ropes in
glacier travel 25.66 0.001 *
Use crampons 15.41 0.01 **
Take charge of rescuing
a member of my
party from a crevasse 19.77 0.001 ***
Maintain group safety 5.01 ns *
Build an igloo or snow hole 9.27 ns *
Tie a bowline, figure of 8,
prussik knot 7.12 ns *
Use few clothes 5.02 ns *
Avoid hypothermia 0.84 ns *
Pitch a tent quickly and efficiently 6.57 ns *
Can survive without much trouble 9.16 ns *
Use compass bearings effectively 0.00 ns *
Maintain personal safety 2.62 ns *
Read maps 0.90 ns *
At the moment,
in relation to extreme
environments, Chi-Square Significance Significant No Significant
I think I can: Value Level Improvement Change Deterioration
<< Table I continued from previous page
165
Changes in Self-reported Technical Skills
Table 1 shows that 14 of the 49 selected items from the questionnaire were associated with changes
in technical (or hard) skills. Of these 4 (29%) showed a statistically significant improvement in
this analysis. Expedition participants self-reported statistically significant changes (p < 0.05) in
their ability to prepare dehydrated food, tie on and use ropes in glacier travel, use crampons and
take charge of rescuing a member of their party from a crevasse. Self-reported improvements in
their ability to take charge of rescuing a member of their party from a crevasse was significant at
the highest p < 0.001 level while ability to use crampons showed significant improvements at the p
< 0.01 level.
Discussion
Limitations associated with self-reported data
A self-reporting technique, as used in this study, can lead to erroneous interpretations of changes
(Denzin & Lincoln, 1994). Some potential problems include:
1. Participants may mis-interpret or mis-understand the questions or statement asked of them.
In order to try to avoid this possibility the questionnaire was developed and trialled well
beforehand and adjusted in the light of this. One of the researchers administered both the
pre–and post–expedition questionnaires to participants and was on hand to assist with
interpretations if required. However, since no participants asked for clarification we assume
that the questions were understood, though we have no means of assessing whether
participants interpreted each question correctly.
2. Although participants were asked to match their agreement to the statement on a scale
ranging from strongly agree; agree; cannot say; disagree; strongly disagree, clearly the
scale is without any clear criteria and it is up to the participant to apply their own judgement.
For example, when asked to respond to the statement “At the moment, in relation to
extreme environments, I can pitch a tent quickly and efficiently” a respondent may have
pitched tents a number of times before in practice on grass and rightly scored themselves
quite highly, e.g. agree. However, after the expedition they find that they have learned a
great deal about pitching tents in a wide range of weather and ground conditions (e.g. in
high winds and freezing temperatures; on glacier ice, moraines, soft snow or tundra).
Since they originally selected “agree” over “strongly agree” in the pre–expedition
questionnaire, they now realise that they have learned a great deal more about pitching
tents, but also have a great deal more to learn and so may select ‘agree’ again, but this time
their perception of the scale is totally different as they have a far greater range of experiences
on which to base their judgement. There may appear to be no change in this skill, whereas
in fact there may have been a great deal of improvement or learning. Thus, the simple
ordinal scale may be exerting a “ceiling effect” on the participants’ responses.
3. The participant’s mood, which could include a range of emotions, at the time of the surveys
might have an influence on their responses. Again, this is applicable to any form of
questionnaire survey and is extremely problematic to quantify.
4. It should be remembered that participants for the expedition were selected on the basis of
their application form and interview. They may have already been subjected to questions
like “Can you pitch a tent efficiently?” at interview and, in an attempt to impress the
interviewer may have responded positively and even enthusiastically. Thus, when posed
with similar types of questions as part of this survey at the start of the expedition, participants
might still have been tempted to treat this as a means of impressing their leaders, even
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning 3(2)
166
though they were informed that the questionnaires were not to be analysed until well after
the expedition. However, the questionnaires were not anonymous. It was necessary for
respondents to write their name so that the pre–and post–test questionnaires could be
matched. This could possibly influence the changes measured.
Clearly then, given the limitations associated with this kind of data collection technique, we
can only proceed with caution and as with all research, we make the assumption that the above
sources of error apply equally to the pre–and post–expedition surveys so that statistically significant
changes or differences measured are deemed to be real.
Implications
Of the 49 items in the 105-item self-report questionnaire which related to participants’ personal,
social and technical skills, 22 (45%) have shown statistically significant improvements between
the pre–and post–expedition surveys. Of these 14 (64%) improvements were at the p < 0.05 level,
3 (13%) at the p < 0.01 level and 5 (23%) at the p < 0.001 level.
Self-reported improvements in expeditioners’ personal ability to avoid depression, avoid loneliness,
set priorities, achieve goals, solve problems efficiently, cope with constant cold, enjoy isolation,
manage time efficiently, maintain physical fitness, be enthusiastic, demonstrate confidence and set
goals must surely be seen as useful personal gains from the expedition. In terms of social skills
self-reported improvements in their ability to control their emotions, motivate others, organise
others, live in crowded circumstances, lead through consultation with others and maintain personal
hygiene may have been beneficial to the groups of Fires in which participants worked and may be
beneficial to future groups in which individuals find themselves. In terms of technical skills self-
reported improvements in ability to prepare dehydrated food (the expedition’s staple diet), tie on
and use ropes in glacier travel, use crampons and take charge of rescuing a member of their party
from a crevasse are all skills which expedition participants would have practised repeatedly during
the expedition. These items indicate that participants learned about survival and general skills
associated with expeditions as a result of experiencing this expedition.
Further work
One of the main concerns with a study such as this is the reliability associated with self-report
questionnaires. While the instrument used was quite comprehensive (105-items) and the sample
size large (n = 60), there is no obvious way to test the reliability of the self-reported responses
(Marsh & O’Neill, 1984). It is conceivable that, in a future study there may be some scope for
actually testing some of the items examined in this study by means of written and/or oral tests (for
knowledge based items) and practical tests (for hard skills based items). However, it is more
difficult to see how changes in participants’ social or soft skills and meta-skills (judgement skills)
(Allison, 2002) can be measured other than by participant observation during the expedition. This
participant observation might be improved by the use of photography, video or sound recording
equipment. Gair (1997) has reported an effect he has called “post residential syndrome” which
Allison (1998) terms “post residential adjustment”. Some of Allison’s (1998) subjects reported
insomnia for up to three weeks after return from a six week BSES expedition in Southwest Greenland.
Others reported a distancing from family and friends and a general struggle to re-integrate back
into their communities and everyday life. This effect has not, as yet, been examined for the
participants of the 1998 East Greenland expedition though it could form the focus of a future study.
Changes in Aspects of Students’ Self-reported Personal, Social and Technical Skills During a Six-week Wilderness
Expedition in Arctic Greenland
167
Likewise, the gender differences in this study will also form the focus of a further paper. In the past
two years BSES has operated Leadership Development seminars and weekends. A substantial
proportion of the participants are previous BSES expedition participants. Some more formal
recognition of the personal and social skills identified in this paper might be useful in training
future leaders. The technical (safety) skills, we feel, are already well recognised and taught. The
question of whether these same skills and traits could be transferable to higher education, employment
and life in future may form an interesting and challenging area for future research.
Conclusions
Analysis of self-reported changes in items relating to expedition participants’ personal, social and
technical skills shows that participants have rated themselves more highly at the end of the expedition
in a range of useful social / leadership skills and personality traits. The personal and social skills
and traits examined may be readily transferable to higher education or employment, whereas the
technical skills would more likely be useful if the participants undertake further expeditions to
similar wilderness areas in future, perhaps as leaders, or to employment areas concerned with
outdoor activities including mountaineering. Statistically significant changes in questionnaire items
such as “At the moment, in relation to extreme environments, I think I can take charge of rescuing
a member of my party from a crevasse” suggest that participants feel they were made more aware
and confident about safety issues as a result of the expedition. These are important skills that have
the potential to be transferred to future expeditions or to work situations such as teaching and
instructing. Some more formal recognition of the personal and social skills identified in this study
might be useful in training future expedition leaders. A substantial proportion of the leaders in
BSES expeditions are previous BSES expedition participants. Findings from this study may be
worthy of consideration by companies and organisations involved in personal development and
training programmes. References
Allison, P.R. (1998). Greenland: More questions than answers. Horizons, 2, 16–20.
Allison, P. R. (2002). Values, narrative and authenticity: A study of youth
expeditions in the 1990s. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Strathclyde.
Barret, J. and Greenaway, R. (1995). Why adventure ? The role and value of outdoor
adventure in young people’s personal and social development: A review of research. Foundation
for Outdoor Adventure.
Bunting, C. J. (1989). Experiences in the wilderness: Opportunities for health.
Trends, 26(3), 9–13.
Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Handbook of qualitative research. London:
Sage Publications.
Friese, G., Hendee, J. C. and Kinziger, M. (1998). The wilderness experience program
industry in the United States: Characteristics and dynamics, The Journal of Experiential
Education, 21(1), 40–45.
Gair, N. (1997). Outdoor education: Theory into practice. London: Cassell Publishing.
Gass, M. (1993). Adventure Therapy: therapeutic applications of adventure
programming. Dubuque, IO: Kendall / Hunt.
Gibson, P. M. (1979). Therapeutic aspects of wilderness programs: A
comprehensive literature review, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 1979(2), 21–33
Gunderson, E. K. E. (1974). Psychological studies in Antarctica. In E.K.E.
Gunderson (Ed.), Human Adaptability to Antarctic Conditions (pp. 115–131). Washington, DC: American
Geophysical Union.
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning 3(2)
168
Gunderson, E. K. E. and Palinkas, L. A. (1991). Psychological studies in the U.S.
Antarctic program: A review. Scott Polar Research Institute Polar Symposia, 1, 5–8.
Hattie, J., Marsh, H.W., Neill, J.T. & Richards, G.E. (1997). Adventure education and
Outward Bound: Out-of-class experiences that make a lasting difference. Review of Educational
Research, 67(1), 43–87.
Heller, H. C., Musacchia, X. S. and Wang, L. C. H. (1985). Living in the cold:
Psychological and biochemical adaptations. New York: Elsevier.
Hendee, J. C. and Brown, M. (1987). How wilderness experience programs work for
personal growth, therapy, and education: An explanatory model. In J. C. Hendee (Ed.), The
highest use of wilderness: Using wilderness experience programs to develop human potential
(pp. 5–21). Proceedings of the special plenary session at the 4th world wilderness congress
Estates Park, CO, September 1987. University of Idaho, Wilderness Research Centre, Moscow.
Hopkins, D. and Putman, R. (1993). Personal growth through adventure. London,
David Fulton.
Koscheyev, V.S., Roschina, N.A. and Makhov, V. V. (1994). Psychophysiological
characteristics related to the functional–state of the members of The Soviet–American Arctic
Bering Bridge Expedition. Environment and Behaviour, 26(2), 166–178.
Leon, G. R. (1991). Individual and group process characteristics of polar expedition
teams. Environment and Behaviour, 23, 723–748.
Leon, G. R., McNally, C. and B. Porath, Y. S. (1989). Personality characteristics,
mood, and coping patterns in a successful North Pole expedition team. Journal of Research in
Personality, 23, 162–179.
Marsh, H. and O’Neill, R. (1984). Self-description Questionnaire III (SDQ III): The
construct validity of multidimensionality self-concept ratings by late adolescents, Journal of
Educational Measurements, 21, 153–174.
Miles, J. C. (1987). Wilderness as a healing place. Boulder: Journal of Experiential
Education.
Miles, J. & Priest, S. (1990). Adventure education. State College, PA: Venture.
Mocellin, J.S., Suedfeld, P., Bernadelz, J.P. And Barbarito, M.E. (1991). Levels of
anxiety in Polar environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 11(3), 265–275.
Oppenheim, A. N. (1966). Questionnaire design and attitude measurement. London:
Heinemann.
Palinkas, L. A. and Johnson, J. C. (1990). Social relations and individual
performance of winter–over personnel at McMurdo station. Antarctic Journal 23, 238–240.
Palinkas, L. A., Suedfeld, P. and Steel, G. G. (1995). Psychological functioning
among members of a small Polar expedition. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine,
66(10), 943–50.
Rosnet, E., LeScanff, C. and Sagal, M.S. (2000). How self-image and personality
influence performance in an isolated environment. Environment and Behaviour, 32(1), 18–31.
Sakofs, M. (1992). Assessing the impact of the Wilderness alternative for youth
programme: An Outward Bound programme for adjudicated youth, Journal of Adventure
Education and Outdoor Learning, 9(4), 16–21.
Seymour, N. and Sudman, M. B. (1983). Asking questions: A practical guide to
questionnaire design. Chicago: Jossey–Bass Inc.
Smith, B. (1989). Learning outcomes for outdoor education. Adventure Education,
6(1) 23–25.
Smith, T. (1996). Four lessons. In P. Allison (Ed.), The Bradford Papers,
Unpublished Conference Papers, Bradford Woods, Indiana University.
Suedfeld, P. (1991). Polar psychology: An overview. Environment and Behaviour,
23, 653–665.
Changes in Aspects of Students’ Self-reported Personal, Social and Technical Skills During a Six-week Wilderness
Expedition in Arctic Greenland
169
Suedfeld, P. (2001). Applying positive psychology in the study of extreme
environments, Human Performance in Extreme Environments, 6(1), 21–25.
Suedfeld, P., Steel, G. D. and Palinkas, L. A. (1992). Psychological aspects of polar
living. Antarctic Journal, 25, 327.
Watts, F. N., Webster, S.M, Morley, C.J., and Cohen, J. (1992). Expedition Stress
And Personality–Change. British Journal of Psychology, 83(3), 337–341.
Watts, F.N., Webster, S.M, Morley, C.J. and Cohen. J. (1993a). Cognitive strategies in coping with
expedition stress. European Journal of Personality, 7(4), 255–266.
Watts, F. N., Apps, J. and East M. P. (1993b). Personality–change produced by
expedition stress: A controlled study. Personality and Individual Differences, 15(5), 603–605.
Watts, F. N., Cohen, J. and Toplis, R. (1994). Personality and coping strategies on
a stressful expedition. Personality and Individual Differences, 17(5), 647–656.
Wurdinger, S. (1997). Philosophical issues in adventure education. Dubuque, Iowa:
Kendall Hunt.
Author Biographies
Tim Stott PhD is currently Reader in Physical Geography and Outdoor Education in the Faculty of
Education, Community and Leisure at Liverpool John Moores University, UK, where he has lectured
since 1994. He is Programme Leader of the BSc (Hons) Outdoor & Environmental Education
programme. E–Mail: T.A.Stott@livjm.ac.uk
Neil Hall PhD is an Australian education researcher who was Reader in Education in the Faculty of
Education, Community & Leisure at Liverpool John Moores University when the research for this
paper was carried out. He is now Director of Research in the School of Education and Training,
University of Greenwich, London, UK. E–Mail: N.E.Hall@greenwich.ac.uk
Acknowledgements
Liverpool John Moores University School of Education, Community and Social Science research
fund provided financial support for Tim Stott to participate in the expedition. BSES Expeditions
Office staff, Chief Leader Pat Cannings and Logistics Manager Jim Mayer did a great deal of work
organising the logistics of the expedition. All Fire leaders helped in distribution of questionnaires
and all expedition participants are thanked for completing questionnaires. Pete Allison kindly
commented on an earlier draft of the manuscript, as did two anonymous referees.
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning 3(2)
... Ultimately, the goal of utilizing these natural settings is to provide participants with a novel and unique learning environment and also to provide follow-up reflection for identifying how to transfer the experience to new contexts (Glazier et al., 2017). A wide range of participant outcomes have been associated with wilderness-based programs (Holland et al., 2018) including the development of positive social practices (Bailey & Kang, 2015), mental and physical health (Whittington & Budbill, 2013), leadership traits (McKenzie & University, 2000), teamwork (Stott & Hall, 2003), selfreliance (Bobilya et al., 2012), and various forms of reflective practices (Duvall & Kaplan, 2014). ...
Article
Background: Continuing education programs for teachers seek to enhance outcomes for participants and their students. Experiential wilderness-based programs offer outdoor-recreational activities and experiential teaching initiatives. Research needs to be conducted to reveal how they influence individual behaviors. Purpose: This research investigated whether a wilderness-based program influenced individual beliefs and confidence in using experiential teaching methods within a classroom. Methodology/Approach: A pre-, post-, and follow-up closed survey was administered to educators who had participated in the North Carolina Outward Bound Educators Initiative (NCOBEI) 2017–2018. Furthermore, retrospective follow-up surveys were administered to alumni (years 2007–2016). Responses were analyzed to determine how participants integrated learning within the classroom. Findings/Conclusions: Participation positively influenced educators’ beliefs, confidence, and intentions to implement experiential techniques within the classroom immediately following the experience, although the benefits diminished over time. Educator beliefs and confidence were poor predictors of using experiential learning in the classroom. Implications: Experiential wilderness-based professional development (PD) has the potential to positively build confidence and skills for use in the classroom. PD and future research should address how to perpetuate the influence of wilderness-based continuing PD programs at the individual and institutional levels.
... Together, they state that positivism, grounded in philosophy and characterised by the scientific method, is a bias-neutral paradigm which seeks to uncover nomothetic knowledge through exact empirical inquiry by developing understanding in the form of universal laws. Turning to literature in OEE, which I take to constitute empirical and peer-reviewed research within outdoor learning contexts, it is clear that quantitative approaches have been readily employed in numerous studies (e.g., Cooley et al., 2016;Stott & Hall, 2003;Scrutton, 2015Scrutton, , 2020. However, it is Scrutton and Beames's (2015) paper that overarchingly discusses quantitative approaches for outdoor learning, and specifically its applicability for research seeking to assess personal and social development outcomes within the context of outdoor and adventurous education. ...
Article
Full-text available
How causation is approached has, for some time now, been a central debate within the archives of educational research. Despite rich discussion in broader literature, the influence of what has been described as the 'methodology wars' has rarely featured within the field(s) of outdoor and environmental education (OEE). This paper explores causation in this context, employing a feminist paradigmatic approach to investigate the role of causation in OEE research. A positivist approach is also considered in parallel, asking whether and how research in OEE navigates causation, and the potential influences of this upon competing audiences (e.g., policy makers and funders). Drawing on a conceptual causal pluralist approach to causation within the feminist paradigm, four key touchstones are presented that stand ready to facilitate inclusive, equitable, and reflexive research for OEE post-pandemic. The paper reflects on the general position of OEE presently, and responds to increasing sociocultural complexity as it is lived and felt within the profession and beyond.
... Table 1 depicts examples adapted from Stott's work regarding directions for potential growth associated with participation in an expedition-style educational experience. Similar outcomes have been widely reported by other outdoor adventure programs covering a diverse variety of adventure modes [10][11][12][13][14][15]. In 1997, Alma College launched its first Altitude Physiology class, which took a group of students from Alma, Michigan (224 m) to the 10th Mountain Division Huts near Vail, Colorado to experience 3 weeks at high altitude (3440 m). ...
Article
Full-text available
Alma College initiated an Altitude Physiology class in 1997 devoted to living and learning at high altitude (3440 m). The class incorporated several key elements of High-Impact Educational Practice including a strong student-research component and collaborative groups assignments. A retrospective survey was administered to alumni of the class to determine its long-term impact. Student responses ranged from “agree” to “strongly agree” with statements regarding the class’s impact on positive learning outcomes such as critical thinking, knowledge acquisition, synthesis of knowledge, and understanding of research. Students generally favored non-traditional formats such as living at altitude for gaining understanding of environmental physiology.
... Sur le plan personnel, il est notamment question de la perception de soi (Whittington, 2006), de l'efficacité personnelle (Ronalds et Allen-Craig, 2008;Torok, Kokonyei, Karolyi, Ittzes, et Tomcsanyi, 2006) et des effets positifs sur la santé mentale (Clark, Marmol, Cooley, Gathercoal, 2004 ;Tucker, Javorski, Tracy et Beale, 2013). Les effets sur le plan interpersonnel font quant à eux référence aux habiletés sociales et au leadership (Sibthorp, 2003 ;Stott et Hall, 2003). ...
Presentation
Au Québec, l’utilisation de l’intervention en contexte de nature et d’aventure est en plein essor. De plus en plus reconnue à travers divers champs de pratique, cette modalité d’intervention met en relief des effets sur la santé globale, notamment aux plans physique, sociale et psychologique. Par conséquent, depuis quelques années, les intervenants psychosociaux démontrent de l’intérêt pour l’intervention en contexte de nature et d’aventure. Mais que constituent les fondements de cette modalité d’intervention ? Comment opérer le risque au sein des expériences d’aventure ? Comment la nature contribue-elle aux effets ? Bref, comment opérationnaliser les interventions en contexte de nature et d’aventure afin de les rendre reproductibles, bénéfiques et sécuritaires ? Visant notamment les professionnels désirant intégrer la nature et l’aventure dans leur pratique, c’est dans le but de susciter la réflexion et de faciliter l’intégration des connaissances via différents exemples que ce webinaire est envisagé. Il se veut une introduction à ces questions, dans le but d’optimiser les pratiques et d’élargir le champ de compréhension des participants y prenant part. Lien verds la présentation sous-titrée en français : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzZUk8D5HPU&ab_channel=VirginieGargano
... It is also possible that over time, or because of pivotal life experiences, one's social needs change or are differently fulfilled (Carstensen and Fredrickson, 1998;Carstensen et al., 1999). It has, for example, been found that, after a 6-week expedition in Greenland, expeditioners reported a higher ability to enjoy isolation and live in crowded circumstances (Stott and Hall, 2003). Thus, one's current social needs and personality traits, as measured in this study, cannot be used to retroactively "predict" one's fit in an Antarctic station. ...
Article
While most studies using a Person-Environment (P-E) fit approach focus on commonplace work settings, the present study adopts this approach to explore an extreme and unusual setting; specifically, Antarctic research stations. People who had been deployed for a year in Antarctica (n = 59) were asked to reflect on their experience and to report their perceived fit with the environment. Other measures reported included job satisfaction, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, and an indicator of subjective well-being (positive/negative mood ratio). It was hypothesized that measures of personality traits and social needs could predict one's fit with the environment. It was found that loneliness (misfit with isolation) was significantly negatively related to job satisfaction and mood, and positively related to cognitive impairment. Fit with confinement was not reliably associated with any outcome variables. The explanations regarding the lack of predictability from personality traits and social needs, and other limitations are discussed.
... This has been an important question to the field of outdoor and environmental education, and many studies have attempted to assess the learning outcomes and critical components of various types of programs. While a number of studies have suggested that such programs have positive impacts on the participants, how long the effects last, how the impact may affect the participants' lives afterwards, and their implications to society require more investigation as few studies have followed participants for more than one year (Asfeldt & Hvenegaard, 2014;Gass, 1990;Stott & Hall, 2003;Takano, 2010). In the past decade, however, an increasing number of papers have reported longitudinal findings (Asfeldt & Hvenegaard, 2014;Bobilya, Kalisch, Daniel, & Coulson, 2015;Gass, Garvey, & Sugerman, 2003;Gray, 2017;Takano, 2010;Telford, 2010), and more examinations of a variety of educational programs and participants are called for to understand the various aspects of lasting impacts from such experiences (Asfeldt & Hvenegaard, 2014). ...
Article
This study asked the participants of place-based educational programs in Micronesia and the Philippines between 1992 and 2017 how past learning experiences impact them now and how the learning changed over time. The responses of 128 program participants, mostly Japanese, were examined using a mixed-methods approach with an emphasis on qualitative data analysis. Ninety-four percent of the respondents stated that what they learned in these programs is linked to their current lifestyles, ways of thinking, and jobs. The categories of perceived learning were the same regardless of the age during the program and the time that had passed after the program. Most reported that the influence continued in various forms and transformed as an extension of the initial effect. The study demonstrates that learning develops through interaction with new learning in different contexts after the program through a meaning-making process, using the initial impactful experience as a reference.
... Sur le plan personnel, il est notamment question de la perception de soi (Whittington, 2006), de l'efficacité personnelle (Ronalds et Allen-Craig, 2008;Torok, Kokonyei, Karolyi, Ittzes, et Tomcsanyi, 2006) et des effets positifs sur la santé mentale (Clark, Marmol, Cooley, Gathercoal, 2004 ;Tucker, Javorski, Tracy et Beale, 2013). Les effets sur le plan interpersonnel font quant à eux référence aux habiletés sociales et au leadership (Sibthorp, 2003 ;Stott et Hall, 2003). ...
Article
Full-text available
Les programmes d’intervention en contexte de nature et d’aventure (INA) font l’objet d’études depuis plus d’une cinquantaine d’années. Malgré la reconnaissance des effets qui leur sont attribués, peu de travaux portent sur les processus s’opérant dans ces interventions. L’objectif de cet article est d’identifier ces processus et de mieux comprendre leur influence sur l’expérience de groupe. Pour ce faire, le modèle des facteurs d’aide (FA) a été retenu. Des entrevues semi-dirigées ont été réalisées auprès de 23 sujets âgés de 17 à 21 ans ayant participé à une expédition de 18 jours. Les éléments-clés de l’INA sont les suivants : la multitude de défis, la déstabilisation, la relation entre les enseignants et les participants et le milieu naturel. Ensuite, leur relation avec les FA est mise en relief. Il est question de : l’altruisme, les comportements d’imitation, la cohésion, la connaissance de soi, le partage d’information, l’universalité et les techniques de socialisation. Les apprentissages interpersonnels, la catharsis, l’espoir, les facteurs existentiels et la récapitulation corrective de la famille sont absents. Ces résultats mettent en lumière l’interaction entre les éléments-clés de l’INA et les FA, et la pertinence de s’y intéresser en travail social de groupe.A number of studies have addressed outdoor and adventure programs over the past fifty years. Despite empirical evidence that demonstrates the personal benefits of these programs, research investigating the key features responsible for these effects is scarce. The purpose of this article is to identify them and understand their influence. In order to achieve this goal, the data were examined from the perspective of helping factors (HFs). Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 23 subjects aged between 17 and 21 who had participated in an 18 day expedition. The results show that participation in the program promoted key features: multiple challenges, the experience of destabilization, the relationship between the facilitators and group members and finally, the experience of being in wilderness. Then, relationships between key features and HFs are highlighted. Many of them are found: altruism, imitative behavior, cohesiveness, self-understanding, imparting information, development of socializing techniques, and universality. Interpersonal learning, catharsis, hope, existential factors, and corrective recapitulation of the primary family group are absent. These results give a better understanding of how key features interact with HFs in nature and adventure settings and its relevance in social work with groups.
Chapter
Praxisorientierte Hochschullehre ist ein Schlagwort sowie Kennzeichen der Hochschulen bzw. „Universitys of applied Sciences“ in Deutschland. Im Rahmen dieses Kapitels wird ‚gute praxisorientierte Hochschullehre‘ zunächst definiert und folgend die hochschuldidaktische Feststellung von Praxisorientierung erläutert. Anschließend werden die notwendigen Voraussetzungen für gute praxisorientierte Hochschullehre sowie passende Lehrmethoden und -formate zu deren Realisierung auf Basis des aktuellen Forschungsstands dargestellt.
Chapter
Das ist hier ganz besonders bedeutsam, da dieses Kapitel kein geschlossenes Thema behandelt, sondern viele heterogene Themen bündelt. Das wird in der Zusammenfassung erläutert, auch wird damit begründet, warum hier kein Praxisbeispiel erfolgt.In diesem Kapitel sollen Einzelaspekte guter Hochschullehre thematisiert werden, für die jeweils ein eigenes Kapitel zu umfangreich gewesen wäre. Die Inhalte dieses Kapitels bauen im Gegensatz zu den anderen nicht aufeinander auf. Zunächst wenden wir uns adaptiver Lehre zu, welche je didaktischem Ziel und studentischer Zielgruppe anders vorgeht. Dem folgt interkulturelle Lehre, danach thematisiere ich die Identifikation und den Umgang mit Plagiaten. Anschließend liste ich weitere Einzelaspekte didaktischer Feinheiten auf. Aufgrund der kleinteiligen, thematisch unzusammenhängenden Aspekte wird hier auf ein Praxisbeispiel verzichtet.
Article
Evidence from four retrospective empirical research studies on lasting impacts (>12 months) of outdoor residential experiences for young people in the UK since 2015 are examined through a form of systematic review of papers and datasets. Thematic and comparative analysis identified lasting impacts as: self-confidence, independence and communication. Respondents also identified confidence, teamwork, life skills, intra-personal skills and the take up of new opportunities/activities as the impacts of use in young people’s lives since their residential experience. A steps of change process within a theory of change model is used to examine the causal chains and attributes influencing outcomes. The intensity and challenge of the outdoor adventure residentials, and the power of groups, influence lasting impacts. These findings from large datasets across a range of contexts have implications for funders and policy makers for the provision of outdoor adventure residentials for young people.
Article
Full-text available
Empirical investigations of polar expedition teams have assessed psychological characteristics related to adaptive personal and group functioning in a physically challenging, adventurous, and time-limited situation. Group members across studies have demonstrated generally positive personality characteristics, scoring relatively high on achievement motivation and well-being, and relatively low on stress reactivity, anxiety, and depression. Emotional sharing occurred infrequently, and seeking social support was related to relatively poorer psychological functioning in these highly task-focused groups. The psychological problems noted in some "wintering-over" Antarctic personnel were not evident in expedition group members.
Article
Outdoor education in wild places can be traced back to Thoreau. Wilderness education came into its own in the 1960s with Outward Bound and NOLS. Educational programs in wilderness settings contribute to various learnings. They may contribute to humility, sense of wonder, and connectedness to nature and help develop the learner's sense of personal, social, and natural history. They contribute to sense of self and personal competence. Careful programming is necessary to achieve the learning potential of wild places.
Article
Psychophysiological testing was carried out on the 12 members of the Soviet-American Bering Expedition team prior to the start of the expedition and at four points along the route through the USSR. The group also completed daily ratings of anxiety, well-being, activity, and positive mood. Team members demonstrated good psychological adjustment and personality characteristics reflective of high energy levels and low depression. There were several significant differences in psychophysiological functioning in relation to ethnic or national origin groupings. Asignificantly more positive mood level and lesser situational anxiety were demonstrated in indigenous team members. Blood pressure levels assessed on males only were normal for ail members, although mean diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher in the Caucasian group. We conclude that factors of personal adjustment are important to evaluate in predicting human psychosocial behavior in extreme climatic conditions.
Article
To test the common assumption that being part of an isolated group in the polar winter represents an anxiety-arousing environment, trait and state anxiety levels were measured in two Argentine stations in Antarctica and two Canadian sites in the High Arctic. The group scores were compared with each other, with comparison groups drawn from the same population as the polar teams but not working in isolated polar stations, and with available norms. Anxiety levels were about the same in both isolated crews, and showed no differences from the comparison groups. Data from Argentine subjects showed some differences from published U.S. norms. A sub-sample of the Antarctic comparison group was retested twice in the Antarctic during the following year. No significant changes were found in either state or trait anxiety. The data support the view that even environments that appear to be dramatically stressful cannot be assumed to have pervasive negative effects; one must look at how the individuals in the environment actually experience it.
Article
Previous uncontrolled research has shown that participation by young people in an inter-national expedition organized by the British Schools Exploring Society was associated with positive change in a variety of self-report personality dimensions. The present study was a controlled investigation of the hypothesis that such positive personality change would be confined to expedtitioners, and not be found in controls (i.e. friends of the same age and sex supplied by the expeditioners). This study also found positive personality change in the expeditioners, while the controls showed (non-significant) personality deterioration over the comparable time period. Marginally significantly positive changes were seen most clearly in ‘ascendancy’ and ‘sociability’. Evidence from self-report measures that expedition stress is associated with positive personality change is sufficiently promising to justify an observational study of whether changes in social behaviour are produced.
Article
Expeditions provide a valuable opportunity for studying processes of coping with a stressful situation. An expedition to India organized by the British Schools Exploring Society has already been reported as being accompanied by positive changes on self-report personality scales. This paper is concerned with detailed cognitive coping measures completed throughout the 6 weeks of the expedition. It needs to be noted that the results relate to young adults and to those who provided detailed coping information; the generalizability of the result is a matter for future research. The expedition presented a mixture of physical and social stresses. Men enjoyed the physical experience more than women, but women enjoyed the social experience more than men. There was generally greater reliance on personal resources than on social support in coping with stress. This was particularly true for men in coping with physical stress and women in coping with social stress. In general, the physical stresses had been better anticipated than the social ones. Positive reformulations were much more widely used as coping strategies than avoidance/resignation strategies, especially so for physical stresses. However, use of avoidance/resignation strategies was the better predictor of outcome, with those who used them being least likely to show positive personality change as a result of the expedition. The results are related to current research on stress and coping.