The Impact of Intervention on Struggling Adolescents’ Understanding of Self-in-Relationships

This project will be completed in partnership with Pine River Institute, a residential and wilderness treatment centre in Ontario for youths aged 13 – 19. I plan to investigate if/how Pine River Institute is able to help substance-addicted youth achieve the core developmental tasks of adolescence, including developing a healthy sense of self and healthy relationships with others. I am interested in the mechanism of change; that is, what is it about the program that helps accelerate development in the key areas of self and relationships. I hypothesis that each youth’s relationships with staff and peers at Pine River may help them develop their sense of self and learn skills for healthy relationships that can be applied to relationships at home. To complete this study, I will be interviewing a total of ten youth from different stages of the program. These interviews will be transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using Thematic Analysis. This work will be presented to the staff at Pine River as well as through conferences and publications to add to the growing understanding of how residential and wilderness therapy may contribute to adolescent development.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Debra Pepler


Julia Riddell


Pine River Institute


Social work


Service industry


York University



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