The effects of ropes courses as an intervention for at risk youth: a meta-analysis

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of ropes courses as an intervention for at risk youth. This researcher used the statistical technique, metaanalysis, to conduct the study. A thorough review of the literature resulted in only 3 studies that met the criteria for the meta-analysis. The three quasi-experimental design studies evaluated the effects of adventure-based ropes courses on at risk youth outcomes. The results revealed that ropes courses had a significant effect on the youth’s personal growth and interpersonal relations. Of the thirteen outcome variables derived from all the three studies, only one outcome variable, neighborhood resources (d = 4.94), yielded a high effect size. A high effect size reported for neighborhood resources implies that social workers need to collaborate with community members to develop programs that will provide youth with opportunities for enrichment, while providing a safe and secure environment. Youth’s participation in ropes courses increased their belief in themselves to succeed in challenging situations. Ropes courses staff and peer support also aided in the belief in oneself. Thus, social workers can organize workshops with teachers and school counselors and help them understand the significance of encouraging and supporting youth. This researcher recommends for future research to examine the extent to which these outcome variables are maintained over time by youth. This study also reveals the need for more attention to be devoted to assessing the efficacy of ropes courses through experimental designs.