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Surfing for Social Integration: Mental Health and Well-Being promotion through Surf Therapy among Institutionalized Young People



The Surf-Salva Camp 2016 project aimed at promoting social inclusion, wellbeing, and mental health, as well as developing beach security values and social citizenship in children and youth in foster care institutions, through surfing (Surf-Therapy). Participants were 48 adolescents aged 10 to 16, selected from 4 foster institutions in the greater Lisbon district. Results suggest that intervention through surf therapy had a number of positive effects: exploration, effort and perseverance, problem-solving, time management, social competencies,interpersonal relationships and emotional regulation all developed among the participants throughout the project. Results support the claim that within a suitable theoretical framework, with a solid and well trained team and with adequate psychotherapeutic supervision and evaluation, Surf Therapy can be a very promising possibility in the care of at-risk young people, and policy makers should consider this suggestion in the development of policies related to vulnerable institutionalized young people.
*Corresponding author: Margarida Gaspar de Matos, Aventura Social, Wil-
liam James Research Centre, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, Tel: +351
218811700; E-mail:
Citation: Matos MG, Santos A, Fauvelet C, Marta F, Evangelista ES, et al.
(2017) Surfing for Social Integration: Mental Health and Well-Being promo-
tion through Surf Therapy among Institutionalized Young People. J Community
Med Public Health Care 4: 026.
Received: February 09, 2017; Accepted: May 29, 2017; Published: June 12,
In 2015, there were 8600 children and adolescents in residential
care in Portugal, of whom 4880 were between 10 and 17 years of age
[1]. Oriol, Sala-Roca, & Filella [2] warn that adolescents in such care
are more likely to have diculties in social development and emo-
tional skills. Studies show that institutionalized children have a higher
prevalence of behavioral problems and decits in adaptive function-
ing compared to children in the general population and the question
oen raised is the kind of developmental and social opportunities
that they may face [3,4]. e national institute for social security [1]
highlights the importance of interventions that contemplate the de-
velopment of aective and social competencies, the development of
programs adapted to the capacities and needs of these children and
young people [1].
In this regard, Surf-Salva Camp 2016 was a pioneering Portuguese
project undertaken during the summer of 2016, which aimed to con-
tribute to the promotion of wellbeing and mental health, social inclu-
sion, as well as developing beach security values and social citizenship
through lifesaving and rst-aid skills training in children and youth
in foster care institutions. Surf can be used as a therapeutic mediator,
and an increasing body of studies worldwide validate its use among
vulnerable populations [5-7].
As examples of this practice, we highlight, in Australia, the “one
wave” project ( and the “waves for
change” project in South Africa (http://www.waves-for-change.
org), both working to promote mental health and wellbeing through
surf, the latter was conceived to work with vulnerable and homeless
youth, exposed to violence and traumatic experiences. With regard
to the “waves for change” project, which had a major inuence on the
Surf-Salva Camp 2016 project, Snelling [8] proposes the term Surf
erapy to designate the benets of the practice of surng together
with psycho educational activities when working with children and
adolescents at risk of social exclusion, as an alternative means to in-
crease psychosocial wellbeing and to reduce the risk of social exclu-
e “waves for change” was the inspiration for Surf Salva Camp
2016, when the Portuguese professional surfer José Ferreira met the
project in one of the times he was at Cape Town. Inspired and sup-
ported by “waves for change”, the Surf Salva Camp 2016 had its tar-
get dened, adapting it to local needs (vulnerable youth in foster care
homes), but sharing the main premise: to work with vulnerable youth
who have been exposed to violence and/or traumatic events with pos-
itivity and hope through a conjoint of surng and social emotional
learning [8,9]. is project besides surf training and social compe-
tence skills, also promotes beach safety through lifesaving certicates
and rst aid training [9].
In Europe, more specically in the United Kingdom, there exists
“the wave project” (, whose authors
report seven factors that interact and motivate a change among the
individuals of the target population, who were young people facing
mental health problems and social exclusion: 1) the sea provides a
Matos MG, et al., J Community Med Public Health Care 2017, 4: 026
DOI: 10.24966/CMPH-1978/100026
HSOA Journal of
Community Medicine and Public Health Care
Research Article
Margarida Gaspar de Matos1,2,3*, Anabela Santos1, Cristiana
Fauvelet1, Francisco Marta4, Ema Shaw Evangelista4, José
Ferreira4, Miguel Moita4, Tim Conibear5 and Matt Mattila5
1Aventura Social, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
2William James Research Centre/ISPA, Lisbon, Portugal
3ISAMB/Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal
4Portuguese Association of Pedagogy and Mental Health, Lisbon, Portugal
5Waves for Change, Cape Town, South Africa
Surfing for Social Integration:
Mental Health and Well-Being
promotion through Surf Ther-
apy among Institutionalized
Young People
The Surf-Salva Camp 2016 project aimed at promoting social in-
clusion, wellbeing, and mental health, as well as developing beach
security values and social citizenship in children and youth in foster
care institutions, through surng (Surf-Therapy). Participants were
48 adolescents aged 10 to 16, selected from 4 foster institutions in
the greater Lisbon district.
Results suggest that intervention through surf therapy had a num-
ber of positive effects: exploration, effort and perseverance, prob-
lem-solving, time management, social competencies, interpersonal
relationships and emotional regulation all developed among the par-
ticipants throughout the project.
Results support the claim that within a suitable theoretical frame-
work, with a solid and well trained team and with adequate psycho-
therapeutic supervision and evaluation, Surf Therapy can be a very
promising possibility in the care of at-risk young people, and policy
makers should consider this suggestion in the development of poli-
cies related to vulnerable institutionalized young people.
Keywords: At-risk adolescents; Mental health; Quality of life; Psy-
chosocial risk; Social inclusion; Surf; Surf therapy; Wellbeing
Citation: Matos MG, Santos A, Fauvelet C, Marta F, Evangelista ES, et al. (2017) Surng for Social Integration: Mental Health and Well-Being promotion through
Surf erapy among Institutionalized Young People. J Community Med Public Health Care 4: 026.
• Page 2 of 6 •
J Community Med Public Health Care ISSN: 2381-1978, Open Access Journal
DOI: 10.24966/CMPH-1978/100026
Volume 4 Issue 1 • 100026
restorative environment; 2) individuals feel a connection with nature
when they are in or by the sea; 3) surng guarantees a sensory expe-
rience that assists in learning and promotes resilience; 4) a culture of
acceptance allows young people to feel included; 5) recognition and
positive reinforcement help in the development of a positive self-con-
cept and self-esteem; 6) the existence of people with reference models
proved to be benecial; 7) regular contact between the participants
and the instructors led to the building of trust and fostered learning
Other projects exist that use the same paradigm of surf therapy
with other populations, appearing in literatures sometime with oth-
er designations as “ocean therapy” [10], “surf medicine” [11] or “in-
tervention through surng” [12]. On one hand, there are projects
focussing on children and youth with developmental disorders and/
or other disabilities, which sometimes are under the umbrella of
“adapted surf . ese projects assessment validated surf therapy as a
way to decrease internalised symptoms and increase self-condence,
self-esteem, social skills, motivation about physical activity, [5,12,13]
self-control, cooperation, responsibility, involvement [14] and social
inclusion [12]. On the other hand, there are projects working through
surf with addiction disorders, with war veterans with posttraumatic
stress disorder, depression [10] and combat-related poly-trauma [11],
validating surf therapy as a relevant form of holistic treatment.
Based on the projects mentioned above, the main objective of
Surf-Salva Camp 2016 was the implementation of a surf camp for
vulnerable adolescents with psychosocial risk, where group dynam-
ics, lifesaving and rst aid skills training were added as part of the
surng experience. In combination with surf practice and the benets
of contact with nature within a therapeutic environment integrated by
a multidisciplinary team. It was hypothesized that the 1) participants
on Surf-Salva Camp 2016 would have decreased values on behavioural
problems and 2) the majority of the participants would feel that had
learned surng skills, self-regulation strategies, social and emotional
skills and feel part of the group.
e Surf Salva Camp 2016 project included 48 adolescents (70.8%
boys) between 10 and 16 years of age, with a mean age of 13 years
(SD = 1.7). It was a convenience sample including adolescents in a
situation of vulnerability and psychosocial risk, living in institutions
providing temporary or permanent residential care, with which a
partnership had been established. ere were four of these institutions
whose young people were included in three Surf Salva Camps.
e Surf-Salva Camp 2016 took place on Carcavelos beach (Cas-
cais) between June 21st and September 8th 2016, with 3 camps at dier-
ent dates. In each Camp, 8 morning sessions were held twice a week
each with duration of 4 hours, before the Camps began, individual
meetings were held between the care institutions and the association
responsible for the project, which included the formal presentation of
the project, a description of the objectives, mission, and values.
e sessions included 1) activities to promote social and emotional
skills, 2) group cohesion activities, 3) surng training, 4) awareness
actions for an active safety culture at the beach along with training
with lifesaving and rst aid skills and 6) group reection activities.
e multidisciplinary team were constituted by the camp coordi-
nator (a psychologist), two specialized technicians (psychology and
sociology areas), and three surf instructors. Additionally, there were
two training agents for the lifesaving and rst aid skills training from
Instituto de Socorro a Náufragos (for more detailed information see
Matos, Santos, Fauvelet, & Aventura Social [15]).
e surf camp program, designed by the multidisciplinary team,
combined the practice of surng, social emotional learning and the
contact with water, to create a mental health and wellbeing setting
based on logic of respect, care, learning and relationships builder. Surf
therapy as a new alternative therapy was meant possible by the follow-
ing factors:
1. A multidisciplinary team, combining psychologists and surf in-
2. Planning and presenting a structure session that oers security,
but at the same time allows each individual to express him/her-
self according to his/her needs and/or possibilities in each session,
practicing an attitude of respect for the self and freedom of choice
3. e relationship technician-youth made possible because of the
adequate ratio adults-adolescents
4. e social integration factor that allowed the adolescents to experi-
ence their peer-relationship diculties but also to overcome them
5. e characteristics of a privileged relaxing setting as the water is,
but also all the details that beach has within like sound, olfactory
and sensorial information
6. e learning of social and emotional competencies alongside with
a challenging physical activity like surf is, which is healthy lifestyle
promoter and very rewarding in terms of self-esteem and self-e-
cacy, that can be transformed in internal strengths
7. e reection activities that allowed the youth to make cognitive
restructuring process when trying to think and solve problems in
alternative ways
At the beginning and at the end of each camp an evaluation of
the impact of the Surf-Salva Camp 2016 was carried out concerning
the areas considered relevant and/or at risk for the target. e initial
assessment consisted of the Strengths and Diculties Questionnaire
(SDQ) [16,17] applied to young people and their tutor or legal guard-
ian. SDQ is a measure that seeks to assess emotional characteristics
and externalizing behaviors [16]. It consists of 25 items divided equal-
ly by 5 subscales: pro-social behavior, hyperactivity, emotional prob-
lems, behavior, and relationship [16]. e answers to each item are
given on a basis of a 3-point scale (1-not true until 3-certainly true),
corresponding high scores to more emotional and behavioral dicul-
ties [16]. is questionnaire refers to the events of the last six months,
although for this study it was used as a time reference last week.
In the nal assessment, besides SDQ, we used the youth experienc-
es survey (Hansen & Larson, 2002 translated and adapted by Matos
et al., 2015 and adapted to this work by Matos, Santos, Fauvelet, and
Social Adventure [18-20]). e completion of the scales took place
during the time of the session, in order to ensure that the adolescents
had help in understanding the questions, if necessary.
Data analysis
A rst analysis included 29 of the initial 48 youngsters, 17 of
whom were male (58.6%) and by means of raw descriptive data (%),
Citation: Matos MG, Santos A, Fauvelet C, Marta F, Evangelista ES, et al. (2017) Surng for Social Integration: Mental Health and Well-Being promotion through
Surf erapy among Institutionalized Young People. J Community Med Public Health Care 4: 026.
• Page 3 of 6 •
J Community Med Public Health Care ISSN: 2381-1978, Open Access Journal
DOI: 10.24966/CMPH-1978/100026
Volume 4 Issue 1 • 100026
Youth Experiences Survey at Surf-Salva Camp 2016
Youth Institutional Tutors Camp Team Staff
Yes No Yes No Ye s No
(%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%)
Tried doing new things 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4) 27 (96.4) 1 (3.6)
Tried a new way of acting 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4)
Did things that he/she does not do anywhere else 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3)
Started thinking about the future 20 (64.5) 9 (29.0) 10 (34.5) 19 (65.5) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2)
Started thinking about self 20 (64.5) 9 (29.0) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Felt that he (or she) can make a difference 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 16 (55.2) 13 (44.8) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1)
This was a positive experience 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 22 (71) 7 (22.6)
Thought about ethnic or racial heritage 11 (42.3) 15 (57.7) 5 (17.2) 24 (82.8)
Set goals 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7) 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Learned ways to achieve goals 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4)
Learned how to consider obstacles 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 26 (92.9) 2 (7.1)
Learned how to include others in the plan 16 (55.2) 13 (44.8) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Put all energy into this activity 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9) 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4)
Learned to push him/herself 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9) 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4)
Learned that hard work pays off 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4) 29 (100) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Learned to focus attention 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4)
Problem solving
Observed others solving problems 19 (65.5) 10 (34.5) 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7) 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7)
Learned to make plans 19 (65.5) 10 (34.5) 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Tried creative problem solving 18 (64.3) 10 (35.7) 20 (74.1) 7 (25.9) 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7)
Time management
Learned about organizing time 21 (72.4) 8 (27.6) 17 (60.7) 11 (39.3) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Learned about setting priorities 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 18 (64.3) 10 (35.7) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Practiced self-discipline 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 18 (64.3) 10 (35.7) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Emotional regulation
Self-control 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 17 (58.6) 12 (41.4) 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8)
Dealt with fear and anxiety 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7) 19 (65.5) 10 (34.5) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Handled stress 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Learned to relax 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8)
Learned that his/her emotions affect others 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0) 21 (72.4) 8 (27.6) 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3)
Learned when to express emotions 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0) 17 (58.6) 12 (41.4) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2)
Felt stress in this activity 4 (13.8) 25 (86.2) 3 (10.3) 26 (89.7) 13 (44.8) 16 (55.2)
Felt pressure 7 (24.1) 22 (75.9) 2 (6.9) 27 (93.1) 7 (24.1) 22 (75.9)
Negative peer interaction
Negative inuence 6 (20.7) 23 (79.3) 1 (3.4) 28 (96.6) 5 (17.2) 24 (82.8)
Felt bullying 3 (10.3) 26 (89.7) 1 (3.4) 28 (96.6) 4 (13.8) 25 (86.2)
Social exclusion
Felt like he/she doesn’t belong 3 (10.7) 25 (89.3) 4 (13.8) 25 (86.2)
Felt excluded 4 (13.8) 25 (86.2) 1 (3.4) 28 (96.6) 2 (6.9) 27 (93.1)
There were cliques in this activity 11 (40.7) 16 (59.3) 2 (7.4) 25 (92.6) 12 (41.4) 17 (58.6)
Citation: Matos MG, Santos A, Fauvelet C, Marta F, Evangelista ES, et al. (2017) Surng for Social Integration: Mental Health and Well-Being promotion through
Surf erapy among Institutionalized Young People. J Community Med Public Health Care 4: 026.
• Page 4 of 6 •
J Community Med Public Health Care ISSN: 2381-1978, Open Access Journal
DOI: 10.24966/CMPH-1978/100026
Volume 4 Issue 1 • 100026
analysis was made of the perceptions of young people and sta about
the way Surf-Salva Camp 2016 aected their lives and behaviours.
is analysis included those who were able to complete a nal evalua-
tion (post-evaluation), paired with their tutors and Surf Sta.
A second analysis included 32 adolescents from the initial 48
youngsters. 20 of whom were male (62.5%). is analysis included
those who were able to complete both the initial assessment (pre-eval-
uation) and the nal evaluation (post-evaluation). Analyses included
basic descriptive analyses and comparative analysis (paired t tests).
Regarding the rst analysis-youth experiences survey at Surf-Sal-
va Camp 2016, there was a positive increase regarding the subscales
eort and perseverance, problem-solving, time management, social
competences and interpersonal relationships, suggesting that the
youngsters felt that the project brought changes with regard to these
dimensions. Emotional adjustment items also increased, suggesting
that youngsters perceived that the surng had helped them. As to the
scale of negative situations, most of the youngsters reported not hav-
ing felt either stress, the negative inuence of peers or social exclusion.
Regarding the prospects for the future: “this activity made him/her
want to continue surng”, 83% of young people answered armatively
(Table 1).
ese results also strongly suggest that the competences related to
learning surng (items 38-47) and learning safety at sea (items 48-50)
were reported as a positive achievement for most of the youngsters.
Youngsters’ perceptions were corroborated by sta of the camp and
tutors from the institutions and a majority of inter-judge reliability
was highlighted grey.
According to the results of the second analysis (Table 2), there was
an improvement in the diculties perceived by the youngsters, and
these were corroborated by the sta of the Camp and the tutors of the
institutions. What is more, for overall skills, positive eects were ver-
ied. However, the latter was only true with regard to self-perception.
e t-test of paired samples was performed to evaluate the impact
of the Surf-Salva Camp 2016 on the subscales of the Capacities and
Diculties Questionnaire (SDQ-PT), using both the self-report ver-
sions and by the parents (tutors) versions. Considering the self-report,
there is a statistically signicant decrease in the subscale behaviour
Technical skills
Purposes of warming up exercises 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7)
Learned how to prevent injury 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Was able to get into water 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4)
Felt good in the water 25 (89.3) 3 (10.7) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8)
Was able to lie on the surfboard 27 (96.4) 1 (3.6) 25 (92.6) 2 (7.4) 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8)
Step 1 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4) 24 (100) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Step 2 25 (89.3) 3 (10.7) 24 (100) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1)
Step 3 25 (89.3) 3 (10.7) 23 (92.0) 2 (8.0) 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7)
Line up 24 (85.7) 4 (14.3) 23 (92.0) 2 (8.0) 6 (20.7) 23 (79.3)
Learned technical terms 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 25 (89.3) 3 (10.7)
Safety at the Sea
Learned how to help others 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 18 (62.1) 11 (37.9) 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7)
Learned how to be safe at the beach 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8) 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0) 25 (89.3) 3 (10.7)
Felt satisfaction about being able to help 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Group skills (social competences)
To be part of the group 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 28 (96.6) 1 (3.4)
Team work 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9)
Help others 26 (92.9) 2 (7.1) 23 (79.3) 6 (20.7) 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0)
Shared responsibilities 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1)
Was patient with friends 27 (93.1) 2 (6.9) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 25 (86.2) 4 (13.8)
Manage others inuence 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1)
Interpersonal relationships
Made friendships 22 (78.6) 6 (21.4) 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0)
Have something in common with someone 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3) 22 (75.9) 7 (24.1)
Relations with important adults
Had good relationships with adults 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 15 (51.7) 14 (48.3)
Had good talks with adults 19 (65.5) 10 (34.5) 19 (65.5) 10 (34.5)
Future expectations
Thought about the future 20 (69.0) 9 (31.0) 12 (41.4) 17 (58.6) 25 (89.3) 3 (10.7)
Wants to continue surng 24 (82.8) 5 (17.2) 26 (89.7) 3 (10.3)
Table 1: Questionnaire youth experiences survey at Surf-Salva Camp 2016, from youth, institutional Tutors and camp team staff (Hansen & Larson, 2002, trans-
lated and adapted by Matos et al., 2015 and adapted to this work by Matos, Santos, Fauvelet& Social Adventure [18-20]).
Citation: Matos MG, Santos A, Fauvelet C, Marta F, Evangelista ES, et al. (2017) Surng for Social Integration: Mental Health and Well-Being promotion through
Surf erapy among Institutionalized Young People. J Community Med Public Health Care 4: 026.
• Page 5 of 6 •
J Community Med Public Health Care ISSN: 2381-1978, Open Access Journal
DOI: 10.24966/CMPH-1978/100026
Volume 4 Issue 1 • 100026
problems between the initial evaluation (M = 8.60, SD = 1.65) and the
nal evaluation [M = 8.60, SD = 1.70, t (29) = 2.57, 0.05].
According to the evaluation of the tutors from the institutions,
there is a statistically signicant decrease in the emotional symptoms
subscale between the initial evaluation (M = 8.63, SD = 2.47) and the
nal evaluation [M = 7.63, SD = 1.50, t (29) = 2.61, p<0.05], a statisti-
cally signicant decrease in subscale behavioural problems, between
the initial evaluation (M = 8.47, SD = 2.08) and the nal evaluation
[M = 7.60, SD = 1.59, t (29) = 2.62, p<0.05] and also a statistically
signicant decrease in the total scale of diculties between the initial
evaluation (M = 37.11, SD = 5.79) and the nal evaluation [M = 34.46,
SD = 3. 61, t(27) = 2.67, p<0.05].
Surf-Salva Camp 2016 was an innovative project in Portugal, since
until now there was not a program working with institutionalized
youth through surf therapy. Our aim was to understand the impact of
the program on a group of adolescents between 10 and 17 years old,
living in foster care homes. It was hypothesized that the 1) participants
in Surf Salva Camp 2016 would have decreased values on behavioural
problems and 2) the majority of the participants would feel that had
learned surng skills, self-regulation strategies, social and emotional
skills and would feel part of the group. e stated hypothesis were in
line with the literature, namely results on self-management, empathy
and improved behaviour, wellbeing, social interactions and engage-
ment among youth [6].
e Surf-Salva Camp 2016 project design followed previous simi-
lar projects, namely “waves for change”, in South Africa and “the wave
project”, in the United Kingdom. Like the above-mentioned programs,
Surf-Salva Camp 2016 aimed to promote health and well-being in vul-
nerable youth. According to research in the eld, these adolescents
present a higher prevalence of diculties in social, cognitive, aective
and emotional development, as well as behavioural problems [2-4,21].
One of the dimensions that the Surf Salva Camp 2016replicated
was the integration in the community as the waves for change pro-
gram does, which includes visits to the homes of supported children
and youth [8,9]. e Surf Salva Camp 2016 project interacted with the
directors and referral educators of the adolescents, as a result there
was a growing interest in the program, as well as subsequent contacts
in the search for continuity and support in fundraising tasks.
Snelling [8] states that surf can be used as a therapeutic tool with
children and adolescents at risk of social exclusion and names this
procedure Surf-therapy, aiming at reducing social psychological
symptoms and increasing psychosocial well-being through Surf. e
Surf-Salva Camp 2016 was implemented in three camps each one with
16 participants. e sessions combined the practice of surf together
with psycho educational activities that aimed to promoted social and
emotional competencies and group cohesion.
With regard to the rst analysis, the results showed positive out-
comes as other similar projects shows [5,6,12-14]. Regarding the items
related to emotional regulation, most of the participants felt improve-
ments and reported that they did learn about social and emotional
competences, what can be a consequence of the fact that surf train-
ing was learn alongside with social emotional competencies. Group
integration had also a positive result with 89.3% of the participants
indicating that they felt included. As others similar programs have the
same outcome [6,14], one can think about the importance of group
activities, but also the importance of the individual respect climate
that was promoted though the camp. ey also reported not having
felt stress and having succeeded in establishing positive relationships
with signicant adults. ese data are in agreement with Godfrey, et
al. [6], who states that the sea provides a refreshing environment, that
subjects feel in connection with nature when they are in the sea and
this experience promotes resilience, a sense of inclusion, development
of self-concept and self-esteem, and contact that with the other par-
ticipants and coaches facilitates building trust and promotes learning.
Regarding the second analysis, which was related to the impact of
surng on maladaptive behaviours, such as hyperactivity, emotional,
behavioural and peer problems, positive results were also found. e
project “the wave” which works specically with mental health issues,
states that surf therapy is a “valuable and cost-eective way to deliv-
er mental health care” [6]. is study also validates surf therapy in
reducing problem behaviors once there was a statistically signicant
decrease in the subscale behaviour problems, in both the self-report
version and the institutions’ technicians report. According to the tu-
tors’ perception, there was also a decrease in the subscale of emotional
symptoms and in the scale referring to total diculties. e fact that
adolescents completed the instrument scales on the last camp session,
an especially emotional day, where some youngsters were more fragile,
some having cried, showing sadness because of the end of the camps
and worried about the not knowing if they would be with those people
again or if they would integrate new surf camps could be inuenced
the answer to items like “I’m oen unhappy”, “I worry a lot” or “I have
many fears. In future surf camps it is thought that an alternative pos-
sibility will be the completion of the questionnaires the day aer the
end of the camp or at the end of the penultimate session.
ere were a number of diculties during the implementation and
evaluation of this process that must be overcome in future Camps as
for instance the diculties of interaction with the care Institutions,
the fact that the evaluation team was not present from the very begin-
ning of the project design, and also the diculties in having the evalu-
ations completed by both the participants and their tutors. Neverthe-
less, the positive impact of Surf erapy was evident at the Surf-Salva
Camp 2016, where 83% of young people, who were not always very
easy to motivate and who found it dicult at times to comply with
extra activities as reported by their tutors, responded that they want to
continue practicing Surf.
Subscales SDQ-PT
Self-Perceptions Tutors
Initial (X) Final (X) t p Initial (X) Final (X) t p
Emotional problems 8.64 8.54 0.27 8.61 7.65 2.6 0.05
Behavioural problems 7.47 6.63 2.39 0.05 7.77 6.84 2.1 0.05
Hyperactivity 8.62 8.2 0.97 8.74 8.42 0.69
Peer problems 7.86 7.32 1.68 7.86 7.24 1.9
Total of difculties 32.48 30.63 1.68 32.9 29.97 2.5 0.05
Table 2: Results of the SDQ-PT [16], preand post-evaluation: self-perception and institutional tutors.
Citation: Matos MG, Santos A, Fauvelet C, Marta F, Evangelista ES, et al. (2017) Surng for Social Integration: Mental Health and Well-Being promotion through
Surf erapy among Institutionalized Young People. J Community Med Public Health Care 4: 026.
• Page 6 of 6 •
J Community Med Public Health Care ISSN: 2381-1978, Open Access Journal
DOI: 10.24966/CMPH-1978/100026
Volume 4 Issue 1 • 100026
According to the evaluation carried out, the intervention had a pos-
itive impact among the youth who took part. e areas of self-knowl-
edge, exploration, eort and perseverance, problem-solving, time
management, group competencies, interpersonal relationships and
emotional regulation, all developed positively throughout the project.
As for the future perspectives, the great majority expressed great inter-
est in continuing to surf. e analysis of the SDQ-PT questionnaires
suggests a signicant decrease in the variable behaviour problems
between the two assessment moments, a result corroborated by the
institutions’ technicians. In the opinion of the institutions’ technicians
there was also a signicant decrease in the subscale emotional symp-
toms and globally, in total perceived diculties.
Regarding the results obtained, it can be concluded that surng
can be used as an instrument of psychotherapeutic intervention since
our results show that it seems to be benecial for the promotion of
a healthy lifestyle, wellbeing and personal and social skills in young
people in contexts of psychosocial vulnerability.
Results suggest that this procedure, which Snelling [8] termed Surf
erapy, had a number of positive eects: as seen, exploration, eort
and perseverance, problem-solving, time management, social compe-
tencies, interpersonal relationships and emotional regulation had a
positive evolution among the participants throughout the project.
Results support the claim that within a suitable framework regard-
ing the components about surf therapy (i.e., the importance of an ad-
equate ratio adult-youth that can be 1:2 or 1:3; social and emotional
learning; lifesaving and rst aid skills training; reection activities in
group), with a constant and multidisciplinary team and with adequate
supervision and evaluation (in this project made by an expert in youth
mental health and wellbeing university professor)surf therapy can be
a very promising alternative in the psychosocial care of youth at risk.
In this regard, public policies should consider this suggestion in the
development of policies related to vulnerable institutionalized young
Furthermore, it is thought that similar results could be obtained
with risk populations in younger children and projects suggestion in
the adapted surng area [5,12,13]. Concerning the impact that this
project had in social issues, future interventions should address surf
therapy when working with families in vulnerable situations and as
a prevention strategy. As the project waves for change and the wave
project, this project aim to enhance social integration in a deeper con-
cern, expanding the permanence of the surf therapy camps through-
out the year and to promoting youth employment in surf activities
e authors would like to thank LIDL Portugal (nancial and pro-
moting sponsor) and the Instituto de Socorro a Náufragos (promoting
institution) for making the Surf Salva Camp 2016 possible; the au-
thors would also like to thank all of the sta from Pensamento Vivo,
namely the ones who worked in the camps, Aventura Social, FMH/
University of Lisbon; all of the sta at waves for change; and all the
young people and tutors and sta from the institutions involved: Santa
Casa da Misericórdia de Cascais (Centro de AcolhimentoTemporário
de Tercena), Associação Novo Futuro (Casas Amarela, Azul, Branca,
Laminga, Laranja, Lilás e Verde), Casa Pia de Lisboa, Santa Casa da
Misericórdia de Lisboa (Lar S. Francisco de Assis).
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... In our research, respondents and clients reported improvements in mental health and the interpersonal area. The following benefits in the social area have been described in preceding research studies [1,37]: social integration, community, and contact with other people with difficulties. By learning a new skill as part of a social group, the surf therapy clients developed important skills, such as social trust, resilience, empathy, responsibility, making new friends, and improved communication strategies [18,35]. ...
... Surf therapy has a positive impact on clients as well as volunteers and surf instructors [30]. A great advantage of surf therapy is its broad range of application, e.g., it is appropriate for children with autism [38,39], posttraumatic stress disorder [23,24,36], depression and anxiety [24,25], children from disadvantaged families [37,40], physical disability [10], etc. Other reported benefits include improved self-confidence and resilience in the majority of respondents. ...
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Surf therapy is an increasingly popular method of mental health intervention. Although previous research documents the benefits of surf therapy for mental health, it is unclear how to navigate the organization structure of said program. This research project is a case study, where the case is an organization of our choice, in which we selected several respondents for each position. The primary study objective was to identify the principles of the surf therapy structure and describe its personnel make-up. The aim was to identify the processes in the organization, to establish their interconnectedness and outline the positives and negatives of their functioning. The respondent sample (n = 11) was composed of participants of a surf therapy program held in Great Britain, including staff (coordinator, surf instructor), volunteers, and clients. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Four main thematic clusters were identified (organization of surf therapy, surf therapy staff, surf session, and situations that may arise in surf therapy), as well as several other categories based on participants’ experiences. The information obtained provides a new, as yet unexplored view of surf therapy, and can be used particularly in the development of new surf therapy programs.
... Surfing has been one of the fastest-growing water sports [1] that offers spiritual and adventurous opportunities for being closely connected to the mother ocean. It offers not only fitness benefits but also mental wellness boost [2][3][4][5][6]. However, surfing remains to be one of the most challenging and slowprogress sports. ...
... As surfing has not been widely studied in the HCI community, this paper aims to gain attention and discussion from HCI researchers who are interested in sports and outdoor scenarios. Surfing literature has also been mainly focused on experienced surfing (e.g., surfing big waves [8,9]) and on the understanding of its societal aspects [3,6,10,11]. This paper hopes to contribute to a reference to literature on beginner surfers' learning experiences [12]. ...
Conference Paper
Wave reading and selection are vital, yet challenging, for beginner surfers during the process of learning to surf. Built on the author's auto-ethnographical diaries, this paper reflects the reallife challenge of noticing when and where to catch the best wave. More importantly, beginner surfers often struggle to follow the instructor surfers who are instructing them with references to a particular wave or specific sections of a wave. The author uses the joint visual attention theory to provide a tentative explanation for this observed phenomenon. This paper proposes a speculative design solution of using AR and gaze-tracking-based goggles to foster joint attention on waves between beginner and instructor surfer, allowing the former to follow the instructor's directions and the latter to understand where the beginner is looking. This paper primarily aims to facilitate discussions in the sports HCI community and hopes to provide a reference to surfing literature in which beginner surfers and their learning experience lack attention.
... Matos et al. (19), gracias a los resultados obtenidos en su intervención, afi rman que para los 48 niños que participaron en el estudio, el surf como terapia dentro de un marco teórico adecuado, con un equipo sólido y bien entrenado y con una adecuada supervisión y evaluación psicoterapéutica, es una posibilidad prometedora en el cuidado de jóvenes con TEA. ...
... Una tendencia también positiva de mejora en la relación con sus padres, así como una mejor autonomía. Además, como bien se explica en el estudio de Obregon (19), tras realizar un cuestionario sobre la experiencia vivida, tanto los padres como los monitores coincidían en las respuestas de sus cuestionarios, que estas intervenciones son muy enriquecedoras, positivas y que se experimentan cambios en los niños/as, fundamentalmente en factores determinantes como la intercomunicación, atención e imitación. Los diferentes estudios muestran que existe un aumento de los diferentes factores motivados mediante la intervención, en el entorno natural de los niños. ...
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El objetivo de esta investigación fue realizar una revisión sistemática sobre el análisis de los efectos que produce el surf en el desarrollo del bienestar físico y social en los niños con Trastorno del Espectro Autista (TEA). Se ha realizado una revisión sistemática de artículos publicados en plataformas y bases de datos electrónicas Web of Science, Scopus, Dialnet y ScienceDirect, siguiendo los principios establecidos en la declaración PRISMA para la realización de revisiones sistemáticas. Se encontraron 1391 documentos, siendo solo 21 los documentos primarios, publicados entre los años 2010 y 2020, en los que se realizaron intervenciones de surf, con una población total de 797 sujetos experimentales a analizar en edades comprendidas entre los 5 y 19 años. Tras la revisión se ha evidenciado que el surf puede utilizarse como contenido en la educación física inclusiva en niños con TEA, mejorando obtener su bienestar físico y las habilidades sociales.
... Surf therapy is a relatively new intervention, with peer-reviewed evidence only emerging in the last 10 years-a systematic review in 2020 identified only 29 studies across six countries to be included. Initial data suggest that surf therapy has a beneficial impact on emotional regulation, personal growth, wellbeing and positive affect [55][56][57]; however, the majority of studies are solely qualitative designs and quantitative studies vary hugely in quality. The surf-therapy intervention was designed to facilitate the key determinants of wellbeing, as defined by the GENIAL model, whilst utilising the natural environment as a treatment opportunity [11,43,44]. ...
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Dominant psychological models of wellbeing neglect the role that nature connection and other key factors, such as positive health behaviours and behaviour change, play in determining wellbeing. The present mixed-methods evaluation explores the impact of "Surf-Ability", an adapted surf therapy intervention delivered in collaboration with a UK neurorehabilitation service, on individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) as part of an effort to design interventions based on advances in wellbeing science. Following five surf-therapy sessions, within-subjects analysis (n = 15) revealed significant improvements on the Warwick-Edinburgh mental wellbeing scale (t (15) = −2.164, p = 0.048), as well as in anxiety and happiness as measured via a brief visual analogue. No significant changes occurred in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) or resting heart rate variability (HRV). A ripple effects mapping (REM) session at 6-10 months follow-up (n = 6) revealed that the physical and psychological experience of a nature-based challenge initiated a mindset shift in participants, which ultimately led to them adopting wellbeing-promoting long-term behaviour changes. These changes occurred at the scale of (1) individual wellbeing-increased mindfulness and physical activity; (2) collective wellbeing-improved relationships, community participation and contribution to organisations; and (3) planetary wellbeing-connection to nature. These findings align with the GENIAL theoretical framework, which defines wellbeing from a bi-opsychosocial ecological perspective across multiple levels of scale. The findings support the need for healthcare providers-including neurorehabilitation services-to enhance interventions for patients by incorporating novel factors that improve wellbeing, such as nature-connection.
... And maybe I can give my experience and that will help them." (Participant Six) Sharing within this network contributed to the building of trust and learning of new skills [86,87]. Feelings of trust and belongingness are basic psychological needs which are important for renewal of self-identity after brain injury [88]. ...
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Nature has long demonstrated the capacity to facilitate wellbeing. Interventions involving the natural environment such as surf therapy, are increasingly being used to facilitate aspects of wellbeing in clinical populations. However, explorations of how nature-based interventions such as surf therapy may be used to promote wellbeing in the context of neu-rorehabilitation are missing from the peer-reviewed literature. Here we characterize the experience of a five-week surfing intervention involving fifteen adults living with the psycho-social and cognitive sequelae of acquired brain injury. Insights were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis, which highlighted the importance of seven overarching themes, including: 1) Connection to Nature, 2) Facilitating Trust and Safety, 3) Managing and Accepting Difficult Emotions, 4) Facilitating Positive Emotion, Meaning and Purpose, 5) Building Community through Social Connection, and 6) Positive Change. Barriers and opportunities (theme 7) were also identified as components on which clinical services may be improved. We present a theoretical model for the benefits of surf therapy in people living with acquired brain injury (ABI) based on these themes and reflections on findings from the wider literature. Findings emphasise the importance of leveraging community partnerships to augment the holistic model of neurorehabilitation and potential implications for service redesign are discussed , focusing on recent developments in wellbeing science.
... However, in more recent years, the focus on threats has been met by a growing body of multi and interdisciplinary research committed to investigating the opportunities that blue space holds for enhancing health and wellbeing [4][5][6][7]. Recreational activities in blue spaces are said to enable embodied sensual pleasures [8,9]; heightened spirituality [10]; creativity and resilience [11]; positive affective, imaginative, and emotional experiences [12,13]; respite from suffering [14,15]; mindfulness, connection, contentment, life-affirmation [16,17]; and problem-solving [18]. Moreover, recreational activities in blue space are argued to provoke pro-environmental holistic connections with the wider world (human and non-human) that link the health of marine environments and people [19][20][21]. ...
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Our aim for this research was to identify and examine how recreation enthusiasts cope with and mitigate the violence of pollution as they strive for wellbeing in polluted “blue spaces” (e.g., seas, oceans). Our methodology to undertake the research was ethnography (online and offline), including autoethnography and informal interviews (40). The study proceeded from a constructivist epistemology which emphasizes that knowledge is situated and perspectival. The study site was a post-industrial area of northeast England where a long-standing but also rapidly growing surfing culture has to live with pollution (legacy and ongoing). We found evidence of what have become quotidian tactics that attach to themes of familiarity, embodiment, resignation, denial, and affect/emotion used by enthusiasts to cope with and mitigate the violence of pollution. We argue that by necessity some surfers are persisting in striving for wellbeing not simply in spite of pollution but rather with pollution. We assert surfers enact a “resigned activism” that influences their persistence. We extend critical scholarship concerning relationships between recreation, blue spaces, and wellbeing by moving beyond a restrictive binary of focusing on either threats and risks or opportunities and benefits of blue space to health and wellbeing, instead showing how striving for wellbeing through recreation in the presence of pollution provides evidence of how such efforts are more negotiated, fluid, situated, uncertain, dissonant, and even political than any such binary structure allows for.
... Blue spaces environments provide an alternative location for high-quality outdoor educational experiences 14,15 Surfing is an aquatic outdoor sport, that takes place in the natural setting, requiring the riding of a moving wave 16 . Furthermore, surfing has been established as a valuable therapeutic approach in i) manage the well-being of combat veterans 17,18 ; ii) improving social skills in children and adolescents with Autism 19,20 iii) creating a stimulating learning environment for children with disabilities 21,22 and iv) promoting personal well-being and social integration in vulnerable children and adolescents 14,[23][24][25] . ...
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ABSTRACT Physical Educations classes represent a unique opportunity to develop motor competence, sports skills and foster healthy life. Blue spaces environments provide an alternative location for high-quality outdoor educational experiences. Throughout, surfing is an aquatic outdoor sport, that takes place in the natural setting, proved as an important learning and therapeutic approach. The aim of this research was to analyze the importance of surfing in Physical Education (PE) classes as a support of children and adolescent’s well-being. A total of 190 students (80 girls) participated in this study and were assessed at baseline and after 6 weeks of surfing practice as part of a PE curriculum, regarding the impacts on well-being and socialization. Analyzing the two moments, the most valued questions were Q5(4.39±0.827; 4.52±0.791) and Q14(4.60±0.716; 4.47±0.808). The exploratory factor analysis results in 3 categories (Individual Expectations; Self-Confidence; Socialization in Surfing), which explain 62.79% of the total variance. The factor Individual Expectation was the most significant and Self-Confidence had the most significant increase. Surfing as part of the PE curriculum can be considered a safe activity, an important mediator for making new friends and being part of a group with important short-term effects on self-confidence, especially in adolescents.
... Considering the well-documented health benefits of physical activity in and of itself, logically we would expect that being physically active in natural environments (nature-based physical activity; NPA) would confer additonal health benefits. As such, NPAs such as trail running, surfing, and hiking, have been researched as routes to enhanced health and in particular, enhanced mental health (e.g., Matos et al., 2017;Thomsen et al., 2018). However, while the mental health benefits of NPAs are well-documented (Thompson Coon et al., 2011;Lawton et al., 2017), understanding of the mechanisms underlying the relationship between NPA and mental health is still in its infancy. ...
Full-text available
The current study evaluated the degree to which nature-based physical activity (NPA) influenced two distinct types of psychological wellbeing: hedonic wellbeing and eudaimonic wellbeing. The type of motivation an individual experiences for physical activity, and the extent to which individuals have a sense of relatedness with nature, have been shown to influence the specific type of psychological wellbeing that is experienced as a result of NPA. However, the role of these two variables in the relationship between NPA and psychological wellbeing has not been examined. Thus, this study assessed the potential mediating influence of (1) motivational quality and (2) nature relatedness on the relationships between NPA and hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing, respectively. Participants ( N = 262) completed an online survey assessing hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing, NPA, intrinsic motivation, autonomous extrinsic motivation, and nature relatedness. Data were analy s ed using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling. Results showed that motivational quality and nature relatedness both fully mediated the relationships between NPA and hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing. Specifically, intrinsic motivation positively mediated the relationship between NPA and hedonic wellbeing. Autonomous extrinsic motivation and nature relatedness positively mediated the relationship between NPA and eudaimonic wellbeing. These findings suggest that the associations between NPA and eudaimonic wellbeing and hedonic wellbeing, respectively, are driven by different mechanisms relating to an individual’s (1) underlying motivation and (2) sense of connection to nature. These findings suggest that promoting distinct types of wellbeing (hedonic vs. eudaimonic) through NPA requires distinct approaches. Emphasising enjoyment, pleasure, and positive kinaesthetic experiences within NPA may be more conducive to hedonic wellbeing, while highlighting opportunities for connecting with nature or experiencing valued outcomes of NPA may be more conducive to eudaimonic wellbeing.
Cultural ecosystem services (CESs) can be defined as the non-material benefits that people obtain from ecosystems. Little research has been conducted on the measurement and assessment of CESs through user perception, especially when the focus is on people with disabilities. The aim of this research is therefore to determine the CESs in a study area and to evaluate their perception by users, especially those with disabilities. The chosen study area is a dunefield with protected status that is typically used as a tourism resource. Located in the south of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain), the area surrounding the dunefield is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain. The present research use a methodological approach to assess user perception of CESs. This was measured through 654 surveys at a total of 11 urban and natural survey points. Of these 654 surveys, separate analyses were made of the 46 which were held with people with disabilities. Firstly, the statistical relationships between the preferences of the two user types (with and without disabilities) are analyzed and discussed. Secondly, a study is undertaken as to whether the environmental management and/or/land uses of/around this protected area meet the expectations of the users, especially those with disabilities. The main results show that “landscape contemplation” was the most widely acknowledged and valued CES by both user types, especially those surveyed at the urban survey points. The “inspiration to be creative” CES obtained the lowest score at the natural survey points and the “social activities” CES at the urban survey points. Finally, it was found that the type of disability itself was not a statistically significant conditioning factor but that the specific type of disability was. The most influential social variables in the perception of CESs in Maspalomas were, in order, gender, companion, place of residence, age and type of disability. The results presented in this work can be applied to the management of the aeolian sedimentary system and to optimize user experience in the Maspalomas Dunes Special Natural Reserve.
Non-motorized water sports requiring physical efforts such as swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing and surfing are becoming increasingly popular in Mediterranean marine protected areas (MPAs). This research investigates the relationship between these types of water sports and practitioners’ psychological and mental health. It takes the MPAs of Cap de Creus and Gulf of Roses (north-western Mediterranean) as a case study and is underpinned by a literature review and in-depth interviews with specialized water sports instructors. Results provide evidence that doing non-motorized water sports in the sea has positive outcomes for practitioners’ physical and mental health. When done in well-preserved areas, these sports may be a viable tool for both wellness and health recovery, and could be introduced in the community as a preventative and rehabilitation health strategy. This should be accompanied by strategies to address the ecological impacts these sports may have on MPAs.
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Children with autism may have difficulties forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with their peers (Reichow & Volkmar, 2009). These difficulties can lead to social isolation (Delaney & Madigan, 2009), and can impact their social, emotional and cognitive development,academic achievements (Stichter, Randolph, Gage, & Schmidt, 2007), and self-esteem (Chamberlain, Kasari, & Rotheram-Fuller, 2007). Thus, it is important to have children with autism involved in interventions to effectively teach social skills, such as therapeutic surfing camps. Therapeutic surfing camps can be used as an intervention to foster development of social skills in children with autism. The surfing camps highlighted in this literature review covered 3 different surfing programs that included participants with ages ranging from 5-18 and varying levels of developmental disabilities and behavioral problems. These programs lasted two days, six weeks or eight weeks, and the number of participants involved ranged from 11 to 121. The two-day surfing camp taught participants the physical skills necessary to surf, and then utilized group activities, socials, and self-reflection to promote interactions and build their social skills among their peers and staff (Cavanaugh & Rademacher, 2014; Cavanaugh et al., 2013). The two-day camps utilized video-modeling, a promising evidence-based practice, and social skills groups, an established evidence-based practice, in order to effectively teach the desired social behaviors (Reichow & Volkmar, 2010). The Wave Project, a six-week surfing intervention, utilized one-on-one surfing training within a group setting to develop confidence, self-reliance, self-management, and social skills in children with autism (Godfrey, Devine-Wright, & Taylor, 2015; Colpus & Taylor, 2014). The goals of the eight-week adapted surfing program were primarily centered on developing physical surfing skills (Clapham et al., 2014). Through learning these movements and interacting with volunteers and peers, the children were also able to improve across many domains, including the psychosocial domain. Overall, the surfing resulted in significant outcomes for assertion, empathy, responsibility, engagement (Cavanaugh & Rademacher, 2014),positive functioning, resilience, self-esteem, emotional wellbeing, vitality, friendship, social trust, physical health, and enjoyment in the outside environment (Godfrey, Devine-Wright, & Taylor, 2015). While there was not significant outcomes for the following results, there was a positive effect on the results for social competence, social skills, self-concept, communication, cooperation, responsibility, engagement, self-control (Cavanaugh & Rademacher, 2014), self-confidence (Clapham et al., 2014), well-being and re-engagement in school (Colpus &Taylor, 2014). Improvements in these skills are integral in being able to form meaningful social supports, and acts as a basis to form new skills to further these improvements (Cavanaugh & Rademacher, 2014). Long-term benefits from these programs were seen in peer relationships that extended past the camp (Cavanaugh et al., 2013), and participants’ continuation in future camps (Godfrey et al., 2015), which is of importance as it shows the longevity of the positive benefits of the surfing camps. Despite the significant and positive findings in the studies, research on this topic is scarce, and multiple limitations were identified within the studies including possible biases within self-reports, lack of control groups, limited study samples, response-bias effects, and the locations of the camps (Cavanaugh & Rademacher, 2014; Godfrey et al., 2015; Colpus & Taylor, 2014). Additionally, two of the studies in this review were descriptive in nature (how to develop and implement a surfing program and its positive effects), rather than studying the effectiveness of the surfing program (Cavanaugh et al., 2013; Clapham et al., 2014). We however still included the information from these two studies because they can provide practitioners who are interested in implementing and/or researching the outcomes of a therapeutic surfing program for children with autism relevant information, as well as sources for programming.
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The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an eight-week surfing intervention for 16 children with disabilities. The assessment procedure consisted of pre and post physical fitness measures to determine the benefits of this intervention. Our results showed an overall improvement in upper body strength (right: P = 0.024, left: P = 0.022), core strength (P = 0.002) and cardiorespiratory endurance (P = 0.013). This research is the first of its kind, illustrating the feasibility and effectiveness of a surfing intervention on improving the physical fitness of children with disabilities.
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Involvement in positive leisure activities is a key way for young people to develop resilience and social and emotional skills. This paper outlines the evaluation of a six-week surfing intervention, the Wave Project, which aimed to boost wellbeing and confidence among 84 young people aged eight to 18, all of whom faced mental health issues or social exclusion. The intervention resulted in a significant and sustained increase in wellbeing. One year later, 70% of clients regularly attend a surf club and many have become trained as session volunteers. Parents and referrers noticed an increase in positive attitude and better communication, as well as improved self-management and behaviour at both home and school. It is concluded that the Wave Project provides a demonstrable and cost-effective way to deliver mental health care, mentoring and social integration of young people. Further service evaluation of accessibility and long-term outcomes is also recommended.
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Educational aquatic programming offers necessary physical activity opportunities to children with disabilities and the benefits of aquatic activities are more pronounced for children with disabilities than for their able-bodied peers. Similar benefits could potentially be derived from surfing in the ocean. This article describes an adapted surfing program that was designed to develop and enhance the children's strength, flexibility, range of motion, coordination, balance, and psychosocial development. Throughout the program, the children and their surf instructors were encouraged to set realistic individual goals. Many positive outcomes were derived from the project, including gains in social development and self-confidence.
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In this study, we conducted a pretest-posttest investigation of a sports-oriented occupational therapy intervention using surfing in an experiential, skills-based program to support veterans with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their transition to civilian life. The purpose of this feasibility study was to evaluate the intervention for attendance rates and retention in the program provided in 5 sessions over 5 wk. Fourteen veterans from a specialty postdeployment clinic at a Veterans Affairs hospital were enrolled; 11 completed the study, and 10 attended ≥3 sessions. Participants reported clinically meaningful improvement in PTSD symptom severity (PTSD Checklist-Military Version, Wilcoxon signed rank Z = 2.5, p = .01) and in depressive symptoms (Major Depression Inventory, Wilcoxon signed rank Z = 2.05, p = .04). The results of this small, uncontrolled study suggest that a sports-oriented occupational therapy intervention has potential as a feasible adjunct intervention for veterans seeking mental health treatment for symptoms of PTSD.
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Among the thousands of US Service members wounded in Iraq, many have sustained multiple traumas and developed physical and mental injuries. The term “polytrauma” refers to concurrent injury to the brain and several body areas or organ systems that result in physical, cognitive, and psychosocial impairments. Although many therapeutic modalities are available for patients with polytrauma, only a few modalities simultaneously address global rehabilitation, including pain, vestibular impairment, and cognitive symptoms. The sport of surfing involves aspects of hydrotherapy, strength training, balance rehabilitation, and group supportive therapy. Recent adaptations have been made that allow those with severe injuries and missing limbs to learn how to surf.
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We compared the rates of mental health problems in children in foster care across three counties in California. A total of 267 children, ages 0 to 17, were assessed two to four months after entry into foster care using a behavioral screening checklist, a measure of self-concept and, in one county, an adaptive behavior survey. Results confirmed previous research and indicated consistently high rates of mental health problems across the three counties. Behavior problems in the clinical or borderline range of the CBCL were observed at two and a half times the rate expected in a community population. Fewer children fell within the clinical range on the self-concept measure. No significant differences in rates between the three county foster care cohorts were observed, despite the different demographic characteristics of the counties. On the adaptive behavior scale, the mean scores for children in foster care were more than one standard deviation below the norm. Our findings suggest that the most important mental health screening issue with children in foster care is to identify what specific mental health problems need to be addressed so that the most effective treatment services can be provided.
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Given the evidence from studies indicating that children in care have significant developmental, behavioral, and emotional problems, services for these children are an essential societal investment. Youth in foster care and adults who formerly were placed in care (foster care alumni) have disproportionately high rates of emotional and behavioral disorders. Among the areas of concern has been the lack of comprehensive mental health screening of all children entering out-of-home care, the need for more thorough identification of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders, and insufficient youth access to high-quality mental health services. In 2001, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) formed a foster care mental health values subcommittee to establish guidelines on improving policy and practices in the various systems that serve foster care children (AACAP and CWLA, 2002). Because of the excellent quality and comprehensiveness of these statements, the Casey Clinical Foster Care Research and Development Project undertook consensus development work to enhance and build upon these statements. This article presents an overview of mental health functioning of youth and alumni of foster care, and outlines a project that developed consensus guidelines.
O projeto piloto Surf Salva Camp 2016 decorreu em Cascais (Portugal) e teve como principal objetivo promover a integração social, a promoção de bem-estar e saúde, partilha de valores de segurança nas praias e cidadania social em crianças e jovens integrados em instituições de acolhimento através da prática de surf. Os participantes foram 48 adolescentes entre os 10 e os 16 anos de idade, selecionados de 4 Instituições de Acolhimento da área de Lisboa e Vale do Tejo. Os resultados sugerem que a intervenção pelo surf teve efeitos positivos. O autoconhecimento, a exploração, o esforço e perseverança, a resolução de problemas, a gestão do tempo, as competências de grupo, as relações interpessoais e a regulação emocional, tiveram uma evolução positiva nos participantes ao longo do projeto.