Residential Immersive Life Skills Programs: A Catalyst for Facilitating Emotional Literacy Development for Youth with Disabilities
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STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Residential Immersive life skills (RILS) programs are unique programs for youth with disabilities. These programs enable youth to develop adaptive behaviors required to navigate adulthood. This study explored the emergence of emotional literacy development for youth who attended RILS programs. METHODS: This study draws on twenty-five qualitative interviews that were conducted with nine youth who attended RILS programs. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis, aligned to a phenomenological approach. RESULTS: The themes reflecting emotional literacy development in youth were: (1) Enhanced intrapersonal development; (2) Shifts in emotional regulation and emotional responses; (3) Realized potential and self-actualization. CONCLUSIONS: The opportunities and experiences offered in the RILS programs have the potential to facilitate emotional literacy development in youth with disabilities. The findings contribute towards the research evidence on the importance of emotional literacy development in young people with disabilities and the development and mobilization of evidence-based life skills programs.
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