Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management


Marieke Van Puymbroeck

Committee Member

Brent Hawkins

Committee Member

Elizabeth Baldwin


Adventure-Based Therapy (ABT) is a treatment intervention in Recreational Therapy (RT) that has the capacity to produce a variety of physical, psychological, cognitive, and social outcomes. While there is research on the potential benefits of ABT and ropes course experiences, there is a lack of research on which course types led to specific results, ultimately resulting in inconsistent programming. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to determine the impact of a static belay high ropes course experience on self-efficacy, and to explore the different parts of the course experience that were beneficial in developing self-efficacy. Assessments reflected a significant increase in self-efficacy following the ropes course experience. Focus groups and follow-up interviews reflected the different factors of ropes course experiences that led to the differences between pre- and post-assessment scores. These results supported that high ropes course programming can impact self-efficacy development, including mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and emotional and physiological arousal. Based on these findings, recreational therapists should consider the use of the high ropes course as a tool to improve self-efficacy. Additional implications for practice and future research are included.