Dr Judith Blaine
Dr Judith Blaine is a Research Associate of the psychology department, having been supervised by Professor Jacqui Akhurst. Committed to a constructivist approach, her PhD research focused on a mixed-methods approach to exploring the psychosocial outcomes of Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) in adolescents. Using both quantitative tools and qualitative interviews and focus groups, she sought to understand the psychosocial effects and perceived value of 'Journey', a school-based OAE programme. Her results demonstrated statistically significant increases in life effectiveness and resilience, but not for emotional literacy. Employing template analysis, the qualitative findings are reported using the acronym FLOURISHING and suggest that ‘Journey’, although challenging, was a rewarding undertaking, seeming beneficial for most of the learners. This supports and extends the considerable body of literature, by adding a South African study from the Eastern Cape. The external examiners commended the candidate's contextualisation of the topic in a thorough analysis of the international literature and her conceptual framework, which were key strengths of the work. Congratulations were offered to the candidate and her supervisor for a “well-executed seminal study that makes a significant contribution to the international literature and addresses a lacuna in the South African context”.