One of the challenges currently faced by secondary schools is to teach 21st century skills, such as self-authorship. Self-authorship is the command of one’s life, or the capacity to invent one’s beliefs, identity, and relationships with others. This study investigated the impact a one-semester outdoor education program has on adolescents’ perceived self-authorship development, as measured by the 27-item self-report Self-Authorship Questionnaire (SAQ). The sample population (n=26) for this study was made up of 10th and 12th grade students from two classes of one-semester outdoor education programs at a public secondary school in Ontario, Canada. Analysis of paired t-tests of the treatment phase (pretest and posttest) showed significant differences in participant scores for three of the four SAQ dimensions: situational coping, interpersonal leadership, and self-efficacy. Independent t-test analysis of the pretest and posttest (treatment phase) SAQ scores indicated no significant differences between males and females within the grade level or between 10th and 12th graders on all SAQ dimensions. Moreover, participants perceived confounding variables (i.e., instructor, teaching experiences, winter camping, canoeing, and solo experiences) substantially impacted their self-authorship development. Participants reported large positive (1.10 to 1.39) effect size scores, demonstrating that a one-semester outdoor education program can have a significant impact on adolescents’ perceived self-authorship development.


Julie A. Carlson

Committee Member

Joseph P. Flood

Committee Member

Jasper S. Hunt

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Educational Leadership



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



Rights Statement

In Copyright