University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Poster Gallery



image preview

Creation Date

Spring 2016


Recreation and Park Administration- Therapeutic Recreation


Recreation and Park Administration




Michelle Davis Gerken

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration


According to the University of Michigan Health System, 15% to 18% of children in the United States live with a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, and other life-long conditions. The psychosocial effects of living with a chronic illness include depression, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, and lack of self-efficacy. Summer camps for youth with chronic conditions have helped to provide youth with a positive experience for many years. Camps facilitate a positive experience by encouraging support through group sessions, engaging youth in enjoyable recreation activities, and providing an environment where youth can relate to each other in terms of their conditions. The purpose of this research is to identify the benefits youth living with chronic illnesses could potentially receive as a result of attending specialized summer camp programs. A meta-analysis was conducted to find information about the possible benefits of these camping programs. Results from various researchers indicate positive benefits including improvements in quality of life, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and social support. Continued research and evaluation is vital in strengthening the evidence of utilizing these camps as a means of improving quality of life for youth with chronic conditions.