Social Learning Theory as a Framework for Recreational Therapy Intervention in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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Jenn Johnson


People with neurodevelopmental disorders demonstrate a higher incidence of obesity, emotional and mental health issues, and behavioral problems than the typically developing (TD) population. Based on the importance of early intervention for children with disabilities, research has been done regarding learning and development in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. However, limited research has been done tying a theory-based learning approach to recreational therapy (RT) intervention in the population. RT is a field that is inherently social and experiential, depending on interaction and activity to achieve desired outcomes. The Social Learning Theory (SLT) is a framework that focuses on learning from a social and experiential perspective, and is therefore uniquely compatible with RT methods. This paper will provide a starting point for a theory-based learning approach to RT by discussing the potential utility of SLT in RT for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Suggestions for future research are discussed.


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Article Details

Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy
Author Biography

Jenn Johnson, Indiana University - Bloomington

M.S. student, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies