Rites of Passage Programs for Adolescent Boys in Schools

A Scoping Review

in Boyhood Studies
Restricted access

Abstract

Formal rites of passage (ROP) processes are largely lacking within Western culture. This scarcity is seen to be detrimental to adolescent boys’ masculine identity formation. With schools bearing increased responsibility for the well-being of students, and as a way of addressing the apparent cultural deficiency, interest in school-based ROP programs has expanded. This scoping review adopted a systematic methodology to refine an initial accumulation of 708 articles. Nine key articles investigating the impact of school-based ROP programs for adolescent boys were examined. The ROP programs were analyzed according to rationale, design, and impact, with each program focusing on three major domains of impact—community, responsibility, and identity. The review found that adolescent boys’ participation in ROP programs may enhance community engagement, build responsible citizenship, and improve self-perception through the development of positive masculine identity.

Contributor Notes

Johanna Kingsman is a doctoral student, Australian high-school teacher of more than 20 years, and mother of four. She holds a master's degree in Education. She is dedicated to giving students a voice within her classroom, something that is reflected in her research focus of investigating the lived experiences of adolescent boys and exploring how their lives are impacted by rites of passage programs. She hopes that her research findings will help to improve understandings of how to support the well-being and development of adolescent boys as they make the often-tumultuous journey through adolescence toward manhood. Email: jo.kingsman@hdr.qut.edu.au ORCID 0000-0003-1044-795X

Boyhood Studies

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