A study on the moderating effects of a scout activity
This research examines the effect of Scout activity programs on social support (parental, teacher and peer support), self-esteem, self-efficacy, social anxiety, depression and problem behaviour of middle school students who have experienced alienation from their peer group. To assess the effects, the research experiment was carried out with a test group and control group in a pre-test/post-test format.
The research subjects consisted of a selection of 64 students from an urban middle school, all of whom had experienced alienation from their peer group. For the purposes of the study the students were divided into test and control groups of 32 members each.
The Scout activity program ran from April to September 2013, with the test group participating in 10 sessions of 120 minutes each every other week. The mediating effect of the activities was assessed out by examining change in social support, self-esteem, self-efficacy, social anxiety, depression and problem behaviour.
Data analysis was carried out using the SAS statistics program (Version 9.3) to perform chi-square testing, t-testing, paired t-testing, ANCOVA and Pearson correlation analysis.
The results of the research were as follows:
A. Participants in the test group showed a remarkable increase in self-efficacy whereas the control group did not (they actually showed a decrease).
B. Participants in the test group showed a remarkable decrease in depression whilst the control group did not.
C. In the test group problem behaviour in the form of ‘thought problems’ and ‘attention problems’ was noticeably lower. In the control group it was not.
In this research it was discovered that for middle school students who have experienced peer group alienation, Scout activity programs can cause an increase in self-efficacy and reduction in depression while also reducing some types of problem behaviour. It is therefor deemed appropriate for Scout activity programs to be used as an intervention strategy to help with the psychological recovery and social adaptation of middle school students who have experienced peer group alienation.