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Research Study Reveals Aspen Programs Benefit Adolescents.

CERRITOS, Calif. -- A recent published study by the University of Idaho Wilderness Resource Center showed significant improvement in ratings of behavioral and emotional symptoms for youth participating in outdoor behavioral treatment programs, including the Aspen Education Group programs Aspen Achievement Academy in Utah and SUWS in Idaho.

The study, released December 14, researched eight outdoor behavioral healthcare (OBH) treatment programs, which are commonly known as "wilderness therapy or outdoor experiential education." Researchers surveyed more than 800 program participants and parents.

The research findings showed that eighty-three percent (83%) of parents perceived their children's clinical symptoms as improved as a result of treatment, and discharge scores were on average close to scores obtained from normal populations of adolescents. Statistically significant improvement was shown in behavioral dysfunction, interpersonal relations, and critical items, such as suicidal behavior. The findings confirm the idea that OBH treatment can improve behavior, reconcile family relations and help address the more serious underlying issues in adolescent's lives that may drive problem behavior.

Keith Russell, Ph.D., leader of the research said, "I think what this study shows is that adolescents are showing significant improvement in behavioral and emotional symptoms as a result of OBH treatment," says Russell.

"We are pleased that the University of Idaho has initiated this study and are gratified with the results of the research study" says Elliot Sainer, CEO of the Aspen Education Group. "Many parents and professionals have known through their experience that outdoor based programs like the ones offered by Aspen Education Group are effective and this confirms their experience. We are anxious to see the results of continued research."

Phase two of the study will analyze data from three-, six-, and 12- month follow-up assessments of the same clients. "Though these results show improvement, continuing the research will be critical to help determine how long, and to what degree the positive results of treatment are maintained," said Russell, "and we also will examine how OBH treatment outcomes are affected by the kind of aftercare services utilized."

Sue Crowell, Senior Vice President of Aspen's Outdoor Education Division, a founding member of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Industry Council (OBHIC) said, "We have been operating our SUWS program for over twenty years and the Aspen Achievement Academy for over 10 years, and now to have the University of Idaho confirm our work through this research certainly validates the effectiveness of what thousands of families have experienced."

Aspen Education Group (AEG) is an organization that is committed to improving the quality of life for youth and their families. Headquartered in Cerritos, California. Aspen operates forty-six (46) programs in eight (8) states. Aspen has been providing innovative quality educational programs that promote academic and personal growth for over two decades and serves over 6,000 clients annually. To learn more about the Aspen Education Group, Inc., visit our Web site at


Contact: Mark Hobbins of Aspen Education Group, +1-562-467-5519,

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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 18, 2001
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