In this section
Note: this is a past research project that is now complete.
The Outdoor Youth Programs Research Alliance (OYPRA) is an
Australian group looking at documenting the benefits of outdoor programs for
young people. The Alliance was founded in 2009 with the aim of developing a
long-term program of high quality research that evaluates the potential
benefits of outdoor, camping and nature-based programs on the resilience,
learning and wellbeing of young Australians.
OYPRA has developed a program of research that seeks to
build on the Australian evidence of benefits to young people taking part in
outdoor programs, as well as identifying the key ingredients of effective
programs that might contribute to positive outcomes.
This program of research includes the following projects:
Survey of Australian Outdoor Youth Programs, which set out to establish,
for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the scope and diversity of
outdoor youth programs on offer in Australia.
Camping, Adventure, Nature – Outdoor Programs for Youth (CANOPY) study,
which aimed to investigate the potential benefits that outdoor programs may
have on young people’s health and wellbeing.
Components of Outdoor Youth Programs: A Review of Empirical Literature,
which looks at evidence of the effectiveness of key components of outdoor
programs in promoting positive youth development.
Crossover Trial Investigating the Impact of an Outdoor Adventure Program on
Positive Adolescent Development, which has
involved the design, delivery and formal evaluation of a new outdoor youth
program, drawing on best practice about what works.
Williams, I.R., Olsson, C.A., & Allen, N.B. (2018). Promoting Adolescent
Health and Well-Being Through Outdoor Youth Programs: Results From a Multisite
Australian Study. Journal of Outdoor
Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 10(1). Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2018-V10-I1-8087
R., & Allen, N. B. (2012). National
Survey of Australian Outdoor Youth Programs. Summary Report of the Outdoor
Youth Programs Research Alliance. Retrieved from: https://oypra.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/OYPRA-Australian-Outdoor-Survey-Report-2012.pdf
I. R., Rose, L. M., Olsson, C. A., Patton, G. C., & Allen, N. B. (2018).
The impact of outdoor youth programs on positive adolescent development: Study
protocol for a controlled crossover trial. International
Journal of Educational Research, 87, 22-35. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2017.10.004
The Alliance is hosted by the Murdoch
Childrens Research Institute, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, Deakin University and University
of Oregon. The team includes representatives from the outdoor
industry, the health research sector, government bodies, and non-profit
Considerable in-kind and financial support has been provided
by members of the OYPRA, including Sport and
Recreation Victoria, The Outdoor
Education Group, YMCA Victoria, Uniting Church Camping, Outward Bound Australia, the Outdoor Council of Australia, Australian Camps Association, and Operation Newstart Victoria.
For further information please visit the project website
at www.oypra.org.au or contact Dr. Ian Williams.