Impact of Behavior Modification on Female Campers’ Physical Activity in Summer Camp

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Zachary Wahl-Alexander Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA

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Huntleigh Wozniak Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA

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In order to combat rampant health and wellness deterioration over the summer months, residential summer camps have been presented as a possible solution to thwart such declines in overall health and wellbeing. The purpose of this study was to determine the differential effects of prompting, and prompting combined with reinforcement on female campers’ step counts at a residential summer camp. The participants in this study were 104 female campers (Mage = 13.71), all attending the same residential summer camp. An alternating treatment design was implemented to evaluate campers’ daily physical activity across three conditions (baseline, prompting, and prompting combined with contingent reinforcement) throughout the duration of the 51 days camp experience. In accordance with standard Applied Behavior Analysis research, data were plotted graphically in order to employ visual analysis to determine functional relationships between the intervention (prompting only, prompting plus group contingency, and target behavior [step count]). Results of this study indicate that prompting with group contingencies (29%) and without (13%) successfully led to an increased amount of daily physical activity. Further, small variance within the group contingency group illustrates the breadth of success for this technique. This is the first comprehensive intervention focused primarily on influencing female campers’ physical activity levels in the residential camp context and demonstrates a cost-effective strategy for improving activity among female campers.

Wahl-Alexander (zwahlalexander@niu.edu) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6020-2809

Prompting with group contingencies (29%) and without (13%) successfully led to an increased amount of daily physical activity.

Small variance within the group contingency group illustrates the breadth of success for this technique.

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