Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Schmalz, Dorothy L

Committee Member

McGuire , Francis A

Committee Member

Taniguchi , Stacy T

Committee Member

Cook , Michelle P

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain understanding into the experience of group cohesion for university students participating in an academic field experience. A mixed methods approach was used following a two-phase, sequential research design to help provide a more complete explanation of how group cohesion was impacted by the field experience. The sample consisted of 112 undergraduate students involved in a 3-day academic field experience. The initial quantitative phase gathered pre- and post-test data on group cohesion using the Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ) modified for an academic context. Findings demonstrated significant positive change in the domain of social cohesion. The follow-up qualitative phase used dyadic interviews to explore participants' experiences with social cohesion and to identify attributes of the field experience contributing to the development of social cohesion.

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