Mindful adventures: a pilot study of the outward bound mindfulness program

Abstract

Mindfulness can be successfully combined with adventure education but the area is understudied. This longitudinal quasi-experimental study investigated whether an 8-day Outward Bound Mindfulness Program in nature would increase levels of positive affect, savouring, and mindfulness. Results indicate the experimental group experienced a statistically significant increase in mindfulness, positive affect and savouring compared to the control group post-intervention, and that the increase was maintained at 3-months post-intervention. These results illuminate the lasting impact of an intervention which combines mindfulness with adventure education, and highlight the potential which natural environments may play in educational and therapeutic processes. Study limitations and need for further research are shared.

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Correspondence to Nevin Jason Harper.

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The first, third and fourth authors on this paper have no affiliations with, or involvement in, the organization where the study occurred. The second author holds a volunteer position with the organization as coordinator of research. His involvement in this study was to assist in the study’s logistics and the writing of the manuscript. He was not involved in data collection or analysis.

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Kirwin, M., Harper, N.J., Young, T. et al. Mindful adventures: a pilot study of the outward bound mindfulness program. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education 22, 75–90 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42322-019-00031-9

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Nature
  • Savouring
  • Positive affect
  • Outward bound
  • Adventure