Homesickness and the Use of a Camp Infirmary: A Preliminary Report

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ABSTRACT.Homesickness is a problem that is well known to parents but is little discussed in the medical literature. The goal of this study was to describe the prevalence of homesickness at one summer camp and to assess the hypothesis that children who are homesick are more frequent users of the camp infirmary than children who are not homesick. Homesickness was assessed by a questionnaire devised by the authors that was completed by the child's counselor at the end of camp. Homesickness was found in 20% of the campers. Two of three measures of homesickness derived from the questionnaire were significantly associated with multiple visits to the infirmary, and the third measure showed a trend in the same direction. Our findings led us to the conclusion that homesickness is a common problem and that multiple visits to a camp infirmary might be a warning signal of lack of adjustment to the camp environment. J Dev Behav Pediatr 16:187–191, 1995. Index terms: homesickness, separation, camp.

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