Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. It is characterized by preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects. In its severe form, homesickness is subjectively distressing and has clinically significant cognitive, emotional, and behavioral sequelae. This study provided 75 boys who ranged in age from 8 to 16 years and who were 1st-year campers at an overnight summer camp with an inexpensive, multimodal homesickness prevention package. Results suggest that combining environmental information, psychoeducation, social support, explicit coping instruction, caregiver education, practice time away from home, and surrogate caregiver training can reduce homesickness and associated behavior problems. These data support the theory that novelty reduction, attitudinal shifts, preseparation coping enhancement, and supportive social environments diminish the negative emotional intensity of homesickness.
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