Using Adventure-based Therapy to Improve Emotional Awareness of Adolescents




adventure-based therapy, ALEAS, adolescence, child and youth care centres, emotional intelligence, emotional awareness


Children placed in child- and youth-care centres (CYCCs) have frequently been exposed to maltreatment and trauma. This often leads to negative, challenging and uncontrollable behaviour. In addition, the children usually lack the emotional skills necessary to function effectively. The aim of this quantitative research project, conducted in South Africa, was to investigate whether adventure-based therapy can improve the emotional awareness of adolescents residing in CYCCs. To achieve this, the experimental group was exposed to a 12-week adventure-based therapy programme. The adolescent levels of emotional awareness scale (ALEAS) was used to measure the emotional awareness of respondents using an experimental design (pretest-post-test control group design). The target population was adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18, living in CYCCs. Sixteen female respondents participated in this study. The research results indicated that the experimental group demonstrated a significant improvement (p ˂ .02) in their use of more emotive words, their expanded emotional vocabulary and generally higher levels of emotional awareness after the therapy. It is recommended that CYCCs use adventure-based therapy to increase the emotional awareness of adolescents in order to decrease behavioural problems and to improve the children’s adaptation to CYCCs.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Marcell Janse van Rensburg, ENGO Child & Youth Care Centres, Free State

Social Worker

Roelof Petrus Reyneke, University of the Free State

Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social work




How to Cite

Janse van Rensburg, Marcell, and Roelof Petrus Reyneke. 2019. “Using Adventure-Based Therapy to Improve Emotional Awareness of Adolescents”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 31 (1):24 pages.



Received 2018-03-13
Accepted 2018-08-04
Published 2019-01-03