An Adventure-Based Program in Promoting Interpersonal Qualities and Well-being of Students in Higher Education


Background: Late adolescents in higher education are going through a shifting from being dependent as recipient of parental guidance to becoming independent individuals in a larger social context. They need to develop interpersonal qualities to establish satisfying relationships. Besides, they also experience stress and anxiety which may result in mental health problems. Objectives: This study aimed to foster positive interpersonal qualities and to promote psychological well-being among students in higher education. Methods: Six groups of 1-day workshops based on "adventurous activities" were organized. The group activities (each with 15 to 20 participants) were designed to help establish team spirit, trustful relationship, and mutual supports through which positive interpersonal qualities and psychological well-being would be promoted. The activities were run by social workers of a social service agency, officers of student affairs, and academic staff. A total of 475 first and second students (men age = 19.3, SD = 2.8; 67.9% females) participated in the workshops. Results: Results indicated that the interpersonal qualities of caring, integrity, social responsibility, and perseverance were significantly promoted [F (1, 455) = 5.653 to 42.13, p < .05 or less; Cohen’s d = 0.10 to 0.29]. Global self-esteem was promoted [F (1,455) = 64.07, p < .001; Cohen’s d = 0.29]. Depression, anxiety, and stress as measured by DASS-21 were significantly decreased [F (1, 455) = 4.32 to 35.50, p < .05 or less; Cohen’s d = 0.08 0.24]. Conclusions: Efficacy of the intervention in promoting interpersonal qualities and mental health status was empirically demonstrated. With the promotion of interpersonal qualities and psychological well-being, students in higher education should be able to cope with their stress with greater resilience.

Author Information
Hoi Nga Ng, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong
Kam Weng Boey, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2023
Stream: Experiential Learning

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon