by Peter Allison & Kaye Richards
on the Article by Neill & Dias (2001)
Neill, J. T., & Dias, K. L. (2001). Adventure education and resilience: The double-edged sword. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 1(2), 35-42.
Click here to read the full editorial from this issue of JAEOL.
James Neill and Katica Dias examine the relevance of psychological resilience to our work in the outdoors. They ask how the concept of stress-inoculation is linked to the enhancement of mental health? The results of their study are encouraging, as they not only provide greater insight into the possible benefits of adventure education, they also provide a useful way of understanding the processes that can be facilitated. By developing concepts and applied understandings of psychological resilience, we may not only increase our understanding of the processes and benefits of our work, we may also strengthen the links that adventure education currently has with wider disciplines.
Neill & Dias also introduce some controversial ideas. With their suggestion of the removal of 'negative group members', they trigger a chain of inevitable ethical questions. Questions around power, inclusion and exclusion, psychological safety and person-centred approaches illustrate the ethically rich environment we typically work in. They also pose specific methodological questions, such as removal of outlying statistics from analysis. This idea of 'data screening' immediately opens up debates on research methods, which we are keen to encourage.