264836 Quality of life and Social Acceptance: An examination of the role of a residential camp in promoting quality of life for youth with disabilities

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mary Ann Devine, PhD, CTRS , Department of Recreation, Park, & Tourism Studies, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Jennifer Piatt, PhD, CTRS , School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Quality of life has been in the forefront of health promotion given it's similar constructs with physical and mental health (Giacobbi, Stancil, Hardin, & Bryant, 2008). The inquiry presented in this abstract examined engagement of youth with disabilities in a residential camp on perceptions of health related quality of life and social acceptance. Data collection took place during the summer of 2011 in the Midwest with four different disability specific (cancer, hearing impairments, muscular dystrophy, & mobility impairments) camps. A convenience sample of participants (N = 172; 8 18 years) completed the Peds QOL General Well-Being and Social Acceptance scales pre/post camp and 61 of the same campers completed these scales at the 10-12 week follow-up. Pre, post, and follow-up data were analyzed within each specialized camp. Results indicated that youth with hearing impairments using cochlear implants had a statistically significant increase in quality of life (t(36) = 2.02; p = .05) and social acceptance (t(38) = 4.69; p = .03) for pre/post camp comparison and social acceptance at follow-up (F=9.68; p=.04). One explanation for this finding is a unique culture developed between these campers, apart from the Deaf and hearing cultures, which fostered perceptions of increased quality of life and social acceptance. While there was not statically significant differences between pre/post camp comparisons for the other camps, findings indicated a statically significant correlation between quality of life and social acceptance. This supports the notion that social acceptance is an important part of quality of life for youth with disabilities.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To discuss the role a residential camp for youth with disabilities has on quality of life and social acceptance. To compare correlations between quality of life and social acceptance for youth with disabilities who have engaged in a residential summer camp.

Keywords: Quality of Life, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research examining factors related to quality of life, social acceptance, and healthy active living as they relate to people with disabilities for 15 years. Among my scientific interests are barriers and facilitators to inclusion in leisure environments that promote active living and quality of life. I have framed studies examining inclusion in leisure using social construction theory and social capital theory to contribute to the active living body of knowledge.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.