Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Voelkl, Judith

Committee Member

Quinn , William

Committee Member

Schmalz , Dorothy


In high ropes courses, there are many different types of facilitation styles that are effective. It is unclear how the environment that is created through particular facilitation styles impacts the outcomes participants experience. The tenets of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) provide useful direction in understanding how two styles of facilitation interact with clients' personality in promoting positive outcomes such as perceived competence. The purpose of this study was to examine how the learning environment created through either an autonomy supportive or controlling facilitation style affects the perceived competence of at-risk youth participants in relation to their level of autonomy. Eighty-eight economically disadvantaged youth between the ages of 8 and 13 were evaluated using a pre- and post-test quasi-experimental design with random assignment. Analysis of covariance and multiple linear regression was used to test the effects of the two facilitation styles. The findings reveal that depending on level of autonomy there is a significant influence of facilitation style on youths' perceived competence.



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