Emotional and Social Developmental Benefits of Summer Camp for Children: Examining the relationship between social capital and emotional intelligence
Carruthers, Amanda Lee
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Camps provide an avenue for examining positive youth development. Camps represent environments where children can develop their social capital and emotional intelligence insofar as camp activities teach children how to build positive relationships and to relate to others emotionally that lead to positive outcomes. Little research has examined children’s social capital and emotional intelligence and the relationship between them. Using a longitudinal dataset, this study examined the change of social capital and emotional intelligence experienced by campers. Findings revealed that increases in social capital caused increases in emotional intelligence. Differences were found based on gender. Furthermore, residential camps were found to have a stronger effect on the relationship between social capital and emotional intelligence than day camps. This study lends itself to furthering the understanding of the development of emotional intelligence and the importance of camp in children’s development.