LARNet Mission    Article Abstracts   Editorial Staff  Submissions  Style Guide  
Article Abstracts
(Click on article title for full text)

Parent Anxiety Causes and Consequences: Perspectives from Camp Program Providers

Barry A. Garst, Ph.D., Clemson University
Ryan J. Gagnon, M.A., Clemson University
Troy Bennett, M.B.A., University of Utah

 (Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2016, Pp  21-39)

Although out-of-school time experiences such as camp contribute to youth development, youth involvement in these developmental experiences is largely dependent on parents who determine which activities are appropriate for their children. A contributing factor to parents’ decisions to send their child to camp is the amount of risk and non-clinical anxiety that parents associate with the camp experience, yet little attention has been paid to these issues, particularly from the perspective of camp program providers. It is unclear to what extent parent anxiety is an operational and programmatic concern for camp program providers. Informed by risk perception and parent involvement theories, this study explores (1) causes of parent anxiety from the perspective of camp program providers; (2) operational and programmatic consequences associated with the management of parent anxiety; and (3) camp program practices used to reduce parent anxiety. Data were collected from a sample of 248 camp program providers who completed an online survey that included open-ended questions related to perceptions and observations of parent anxiety, as well as strategies used to manage parents. Content analysis was used to code the data and to construct themes. Constructed themes suggested that parent anxiety is associated with parent-child separation, limited parent camp experience, lack of parent trust, the expression of overparenting behaviors, fear of lack of safety, and insufficient preparation. Constructed themes associated with operational or programmatic changes indicated that camp program providers use a range of strategies to reduce parent anxiety, broadly summarized as communication, staffing, access, and education. Implications for practice and future directions are explored. 

Key Words: Parent anxiety, camp, overparenting, camp administration, youth programming

Please direct correspondence to Barry A. Garst, Ph.D., Clemson University,

Addressing the Health Disparity Gap: Perceptions of Barriers to and Benefits of Leisure Time Physical Activity in African-American and Latino Older Adults

Catherine E. Dorwart, Ph.D., North Carolina Central University
Jeneea Jervay-Bush, M.S., At Any Age Fitness & Recreation, Durham NC

(Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2016, Pp 1-20)

The purpose of this study was to determine if there were significant differences in perceptions toward barriers and benefits of leisure time physical activity (LTPA) between African-American and Latino older adults.  One-hundred and twenty five older adults participated in the study.  A twenty-six item questionnaire, a modification of the San Diego LTPA instrument (Mouton, Calmbach, Dhanda, Espino, & Hazuda, 2000) was used to collect the data.   Results indicated that African-American older adults perceived no strong barriers to LTPA, whereas Latino older adults did perceive several barriers. Additionally, older Latino adults perceived more benefits from LTPA than their African-American counterparts.  The research study concluded that there were differences in perceptions toward barriers and benefits of LTPA between African-American and Latino older adults in the study area.

Key Words: Aging, African-American older adults, Latino older adults, leisure constraints, leisure time physical activity (LPTA)

Authors: Please direct correspondence to Catherine E. Dorwart, Ph.D., North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC,

Self-Confidence in Backcountry Settings among College and University Outdoor Programs’ Staff: Does Gender Make a Difference?

Dr. Eric Frauman, Appalachian State University
Jessica Washam, Appalachian State University

(Volume 17, Issue 1, Spring 2015, Pp 13-23)

Leading group trips in backcountry or wildland recreation settings can provide additional challenges and test one’s confidence in ways that front country or developed recreation settings may not.  Historically, the great outdoors has been considered man’s domain, as such some authors have suggested that it is more difficult for women to feel confident when engaged in backcountry recreation activities due to gender role stereotypes and socialization (Lee, 2001; Nolan & Priest, 1993; Saunders & Sharp, 2002), resulting in fewer opportunities for females, particularly young females, to develop skills and confidence in outdoor environments (Allin & West, 2013).  Jones (2012) in her study of female outdoor educators found women commonly expressing a lack of self-confidence upon entry to the field. The present study examined university outdoor program staff through the lens of gender and its relationship to self-confidence when leading backcountry trips.  A three-page survey measured respondents self-confidence across six dimensions (e.g., group dynamic concerns, dealing with nature), as well as items linked to various forms of experience (e.g., years of experience working in an outdoor program, number of trips led) and age.  Data was collected late 2011 through Fall 2012 utilizing a professional association listserve whose membership primarily includes university outdoor programs staff.  Two of the six dimensions revealed statistically significant differences with males expressing more confidence than females, though fairly high self-confidence group mean scores were found for males and females across each of the six dimensions.  ANCOVA tests controlling for the effects of experience and age revealed some statistically significant differences for gender though the covariates were more likely statistically significant with one or more of the confidence dimensions.  Future research should more closely examine how staff type (e.g., fulltime professional versus graduate student) affects self-confidence. Useful information was gleaned from the study and should prove valuable to outdoor program directors interested in more fully recognizing how gender and experience each play a role in self-confidence.  Self-confident staff that blends the best of both genders in their leadership can go a long way in enhancing the experience of participants utilizing university outdoor programs. 

Key Words: Self-confidence, gender, outdoor programs, leadership, outdoor education

Please direct correspondence to Eric Frauman, Ph.D., Appalachian State University,  Boone, NC, 828.262.6317,

Assessing Leadership Styles and Organizational Culture within Kentucky Parks and Recreation Departments

Darren Smith, Ph.D., Western Kentucky University
Fred Gibson, Ph.D., Western Kentucky University
William Hey,, Ph.D., Western Kentucky University
(Volume 17, Issue 1, Spring 2015, Pp 1-12)

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between park and recreation directors’ leadership styles and organizational cultures existing within organizations. Researchers have reported that leaders of organizations should make maintenance of culture a high priority (Schein, 2004; O’Reilly, Caldwell, & Barnet, 1989). Leaders affect organizational culture by creating shared visions, correcting inappropriate behaviors, opening lines of communication, and integrating and educating new employees (Burns, 1978; Ruggieri & Abbate, 2013). For this study, relationships were assessed between park and recreation directors’ leadership styles and the organizational culture behaviors of professional collaboration, affiliative collegiality, and self-efficacy based upon the perceptions of park and recreation department employees. The data collection instruments used in this study in-cluded The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire 5X (Avolio & Bass, 2004) and The Culture Triage Survey (Phillips & Wagner, 2003). Participating departments were identified based upon information obtained from the Kentucky Recreation and Park Services Study (2007-09). A bi-modal method of da-ta collection was used to administer the survey to participants. One hundred thirty-four of 479 sur-veys were returned for a response rate of 28 percent. The organizational culture variables were found to be significantly related to the transformational leadership behaviors (individualized consid-eration, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and attributed idealized influences). The organizational culture variables were also significantly related to the transactional leadership behav-iors or contingent reward and active management by exception as well as the passive-avoidant lead-ership behaviors of lassiez faire and passive management by exception. Implications of this study in-clude suggestions that leaders of park and recreation agencies should make concerted efforts to manage the culture that exists in their departments. Also, an attempt to adopt more transformation-al styles of leadership can serve to benefit the employees, culture, and department as a whole.
Key Words: Collegiality, efficacy, leadership, organizational culture, park and recreation, collabora-tion, and relationship
Authors: Please direct correspondence to Darren Smith, Ph.D., Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, 270-745-3175,

Social Ecological Constraints to Park Use in Communities with Proximate Park Access

J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Deepti Adlakha, MUD, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University
Ravikumar Chockalingam, MD, MPH, Prevention Research Center, Washington University
(Volume 16, Issue 4, Fall 2013, Pp 23-36)

Evidence correlates physical activity, psychological restoration, and social health to proximity to parks and sites of recreation. The purpose of this study was to identify perceived constraints to park use in low-income communities facing significant health disparities, but with proximate access to underutilized parks. The authors used a series of focus groups with families, teens, and older adults in neighborhoods with similar demographic distribution and parks over 125 acres in size. Constraints to park use varied across age groups as well as across social ecological levels, with perceived con-straints to individuals, user groups, communities, and society. Policies and interventions aimed at increasing park use must specifically address constraints across social ecological levels to be successful.
Key Words: Parks, social ecological systems, constraints, health disparities, low-income communities
Authors: Please direct correspondence to J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, Brown School of Social Work,

An Exploratory Study of Serious Leisure and Lifestyle for Amateur Athletes

Hung-Ling (Stella) Liu, Ph.D. Oklahoma State University;
Lowell Caneday, Ph.D., CPRP, Oklahoma State University;
Tyler Tapps, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University
(Volume 16, Issue 3, Fall 2013, Pp 13-22)

The purpose of this exploratory study was to apply the concept of serious leisure to gain an under-standing of how amateur athletes in a community setting integrate their free-time interests with life-style. A secondary purpose was to investigate which characteristics of serious leisure may identify the participants’ levels of dedication to participation in an adult sport program. The study was con-ducted in the south-central region of the United States in a rural city. A total of 252 pen-and-paper based surveys were collected from softball and volleyball players who enrolled in the community sport program in the fall of 2010. The results indicated that all six serious leisure characteristics (perseverance, personal effort, career progress, career contingencies, strong identification, and unique ethos) were able to distinguish the rural amateur athletes’ level of sport lifestyle, while strong identification and unique ethos were the two serious leisure characteristics that generated the greatest differences between the two levels of sport lifestyle of amateur athletes.
Key Words: Serious leisure, lifestyle, amateur athletes

Parents’ Value Assessments, Outcome Expectations and Support Towards their Child’s Recreational Sport Participation Experiences

Michael Diacin, Ph.D., University of Indianapolis.
Joy T. DeSensi, Ed.D. & C.T.R.S., University of Tennessee.
(Volume 16, Issue 2, Fall 2013, Pp 1-12)

The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to investigate parents’ perceptions of value and outcome expectations in connection with their child’s recreational sport participation and 2) to investigate whether or not the child’s gender influenced parents’ perceptions of value and outcome expecta-tions with regard to their child’s recreational sport participation. Each parent had at least one child under the age of 13 who participated in an organized, recreational sport. Data were collected through demographic surveys and semi-structured interviews. Eccles’ (1984) expectancy-value mod-el was utilized as the theoretical framework for this study. Participants generally supported their children’s participation; however, one father did not view his daughter’s long-term participation in recreational sport activities as appropriate. In addition, one mother was less supportive of her daughter’s participation than her son’s and held lower expectations with regard to the level of suc-cess her daughter would achieve in this domain. Because children who are physically active as youth are more likely to be active as adolescents and adults, parents are encouraged to be supportive of their children’s engagement in recreational sport activities, regardless of the child’s gender.
Key Words: Parents, children, recreation, sport, gender
A Delphi Study Identifying Indicators and Criteria for Physically Active Communities for Youth 10-14 Years Old

Craig M. Ross, Professor; Indiana University, Bloomington.
Sarah J. Young, Associate Professor; Indiana University, Bloomington.
Jill R. Sturts, Doctoral Student; Indiana University, Bloomington.
Alexia F. Franzidis, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
(Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2013, Pp 1-11)

This study engaged community-specific health professionals and stakeholders in the design of an objective instrument to measure indicators and criteria of physically active healthy communities for youth 10-14 years old. Various forms of quantitative (Web-Delphi survey) and qualitative (extensive literature review) evidence were used to identify key measures of community-level support for youth involvement with physical activity. The results of the study provided implications for how three entities found within any community-- home, school, and local government--can be more encouraging for youth to participate in more healthy physical activity. Understanding how physical activity can be facilitated and promoted among youth will have a significant impact on providing and sustaining healthy communities for the future.

Key Words: Youth physical activity, healthy community support
The Impact of Environmental Interpretation in Developing a Connection to Nature in Park Visitors
Mark E. Burbach, Associate Geoscientist, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lisa Pennisi, Assistant Professor of Practice, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Chelsea D. West, Program Specialist, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
Sharon Ziegler-Chong, Graduate Student, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
(Volume 15, Issue 4, Fall 2012, Pp 13-30)

This static group comparison study examined whether participants in nature-based recreation activities featuring environmental interpretation elicited more connection to nature than those that engaged in nature-based recreation activities without environmental interpretation. Two hundred twenty-one visitors to a state park completed the Multidimensional Connection to Nature Scale after participating in activities with or without environmental interpretation. Analysis using an Independent Sample t-Test indicated visitors who participated in activities featuring environmental interpretation had a significantly greater connection to nature than visitors who participated in recreational activities without environmental interpretation. This result supports the contention that participation in nature-based recreation activities featuring environmental interpretation can increase a person’s connection to nature. Additionally, frequent park visitors who participated in activities featuring environmental interpretation had a higher connection to nature than frequent park visitors who participated in activities without environmental interpretation. This result supports the contention that frequent park visitors who participate in nature-based recreation activities featuring environmental interpretation can increase their connection to nature. For infrequent park visitors, however, there was no significant difference in connection to nature between participation in activities featuring environmental interpretation and participation in activities without environmental interpretation. This study will help park managers and planners improve visitors’ experience and better achieve park objectives. Future studies employing random assignment to treatment and control groups should explore causal relationships.
Key Words: Connection to Nature, Nature-based Recreation, Environmental Interpretation, Visitation Frequency, State Park

Leisure Satisfaction in GLBT Sports Leagues
Greg S. Place, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Shepherd University
Brent A. Beggs, Ph.D., Professor, Illinois State University
(Volume 15, Issue 3, Fall 2012, Pp 1-12)


The understanding of what brings satisfaction to participants in an activity has provided parks and recreation professionals a window into how to better meet their recreation needs. One subculture that has lacked an extensive research focus has been the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) population. Understanding the satisfaction which GLBT individuals receive from participation in sports leagues opens a door to if they are unique to the general population and require specific programming or if programming can have the same focus. This study examined the leisure satisfaction of participants in a GLBT sports association. There were 581 subjects from a GLBT sport association who participated in an on-line survey and indicated a relatively high level of leisure satisfaction. ANOVA and T-test analyses indicated that there were no differences in leisure satisfaction based on gender or level of education, supporting research conducted on other populations.
Key Words: Leisure Satisfaction, GLBT, LGBT, Sports Leagues

Organized Leisure Activities and Well-being: Children Getting it Just Right!
Krister Hertting, Ph.D., Luleå University of Technology, Sweden;
Catrine Kostenius, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
(Volume 15, Issue 2, Spring 2012, Pp 13-28)

This article explores how the levels of participation in organized leisure activities relate to children’s psychosocial well-being. Data collection occurred in a school district with 7 schools in the northern part of Sweden. Children ages 12-14 were invited to complete the World Health Organizations’ Health Behavior in School-Aged Children self-completion questionnaire (n=391). An independent variable was constructed to measure children’s participation in organized leisure activities at three levels: low level (LL), medium level (ML), and high level (HL). Ten out of 13 correlations were significant at the p< .05 level). Results indicated that the ML group scored high on life satisfaction, had a lot of friends, and felt less pressure in school than the other two groups, while the LL and HL groups had fewer friends and felt more pressure. The conclusion drawn is that a medium level of participation in organized leisure activities was most favorable for children’s health and well-being. Discussions include possibilities for finding the right balance between organized leisure activities and children’s well-being.
Key Words: Organized activities, leisure, well-being, children

Physical Activity and Perception of Body Image of African American Women
Zakiya Newton, M.S., Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Lei Guo, Ph.D. & C.T.R.S., North Carolina Central University
Heewon Yang, Ph.D. & C.T.R.S., Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Marjorie Malkin, Ed.D. & C.T.R.S., Southern Illinois University Carbondale
(Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring 2012, Pp 1-12)

The purpose of this study was to examine the amount of daily physical activities performed by Afri-can American women and their perceptions of their body image, obesity status, physical fitness, and satisfaction with their physical appearance. The study was conducted at a local church in an urban area on the east coast of the United States. A total of 51 African American women completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) to gather data on their physical activity participa-tion. Another questionnaire developed by the researchers examined respondents’ perceived body image and current knowledge of physical activity and its benefits. The study found that the average Body Mass Index (BMI) value for the respondents was 29.9, indicating that over 82% were either overweight or obese. Moreover, almost 55% perceived themselves to be overweight. Findings also indicated 58.8% of respondents were dissatisfied with their physical appearance. Respondents re-ported engaging an average of 69 minutes of moderate and vigorous recreational activity over a sev-en day period. This was considerably lower than the recommended amount of moderate and vigor-ous physical activities. The current study confirmed the need for physical activity programs for Afri-can American women. It was also suggested that church-based provision of recreational physical ac-tivity may be an effective cultural approach for reaching African American women.
Key Words: Physical activity, recreation, African American women

Relationship Between Self-esteem and Leisure Boredom Among College Students
Heewon Yang, Southern Illinois University
Lei Guo, North Carolina Central University
(Volume 14, Issue 1, Fall 2011, Pp. 1-12)

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-esteem and leisure boredom among university students. Students (N = 405) at a large Midwestern university were recruited as the study sample. Participants completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) and the Leisure Bore-dom Scale (LBS). Study findings revealed that leisure boredom was negatively associated with self-esteem. Therefore, university administrators, educators, and campus recreation professionals should continue to provide positive leisure and recreation programs for college students on campus.
Key Words: Self-esteem, leisure boredom

Geocachers: Benefits Sought and Environmental Attitudes
Ingrid E. Schneider, University of Minnesota;
Kenneth E. Silverberg, California State University-Long Beach;
Deborah Chavez, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
(Volume 14, Issue 1, Fall 2011, Pp. 1-11)


Geocaching, an outdoor recreation activity that uses handheld Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to find hidden treasures demarcated on the Internet, emerged in 2000 and has engaged more than 5 million participants in more than 200 countries ( Agency responses to geocaching range from collaborative management to exclusion. Effective management, however, depends on knowledge of participants’ behaviors and preferences as well as the ability to respond effectively to them. This project profiled geocachers, the benefits they seek in the activity, as well as attitudes toward environmentally responsible behaviors. An electronically administered questionnaire in 2003 revealed geocachers at that time were primarily middle aged, White, and possessed high educational status. Seven benefit factors emerged related to geocaching:  physical fitness, nature experiences, learning, stimulation, relaxation, autonomy, and socialization. Benefits sought differed by group type (family vs. alone). Geocachers indicated environmentally responsible behaviors were important. Programming opportunities exist to enhance physical activity, environmental understanding, social cohesion, and revenues. Management challenges include cache placement, cache monitoring, inter- and intragroup conflict, and increased visitation.
Key Words:  Technology, geocaching, environmentally responsible behavior, benefits

Conflicts Between Recreation Subworlds: The Case of Appalachian Trail Long-Distance Hikers
Jamie MacLennan, Georgia Southwestern State University
Roger L. Moore, North Carolina State University
(Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 2011, Pp. 1-17)

This paper presents the results of an ethnographic investigation of conflicts among long-distance hikers along the 2,175 mile long Appalachian Trail. The findings are based primarily on field research conducted during a six-month end-to-end hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2003 by the lead author. Multiple activity styles and orientations of long-distance hikers were found – “purists” who were in-tent on hiking every foot of the trail and “blue blazers” and “yellow blazers” who were not. Friction between purists and the non-purists was not uncommon and involved both social values conflict and interpersonal conflict based primarily on differences in activity styles and in the meaning the Appala-chian Trail held for them. The relevance of these findings for recreation conflict is discussed as well as implications for management and future research.
Key Words: Social worlds, trails, hiking, recreation conflict, Appalachian Trail

Sport Subcultures and Their Potential for Addressing Environmental Problems: The Illustrative Case of Disc Golf
Sylvia Trendafilova, University of Tennessee
(Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 2011, Pp. 1-14)

This study attempts to glean insight into the subculture of disc golfers and to assess how the knowledge about this particular subculture could be utilized for the management of environmental problems in recreation. The research is based on ethnography, incorporating informal interviews and field observations. Data revealed that in general disc golfers were lacking knowledge about the envi-ronmental consequences of their actions associated with playing the sport of disc golf. Data also un-covered that players had strong attachment to the park where they played disc golf and that they were willing to modify certain behaviors to decrease the negative impact on the environment. Impli-cations for the management of recreational activities are discussed, emphasizing the potential sport subcultures have as the means to address the challenges facing recreational managers and practitio-ners.
Key Words: Sport subcultures, disc golf, recreation, environment.

Profiles and Perceptions of Workplace Diversity Among Park and Recreation Professionals
Chris Ebron, M.S., Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Cynthia Sims, Ed.D., Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Heewon Yang, Ph.D. & CTRS, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
(Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 2011, Pp. 1-15)

There are a number of studies about workplace diversity in the park and recreation field; however, few have focused on park and recreation employee perceptions of workplace diversity. The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of workplace diversity among park and recreation profes-sionals in the state of Illinois. Survey packets containing a cover letter and a link to a web-based sur-vey were emailed to directors of park and recreation departments and park districts. Directors were asked to forward the survey link to their employees. Survey findings suggest that there is some em-ployee diversity among park and recreation professionals in Illinois; however, it is not reflective of the increasing diversity in the U.S. workforce. Based on these findings it is recommended that park and recreation administrators offer more employee diversity training programs that focus on the value, benefit, recruitment, and retention of diverse populations. Future research should survey a national population of park and recreation professionals so that a national diversity profile may be projected.
Key Words: Diversity, diversity management, park and recreation department, park district, minori-ties, workplace diversity

Occupational Commitment and the Role of Leisure and Money Among Recreation and Park Professionals
Eric Frauman, Appalachian State University
Mark Ivy, Middle Tennessee State University
Peter Cunningham, Middle Tennessee State University
(Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 2011, Pp. 1-12)


While the park and recreation profession has grown steadily in recent decades it is generally understood that many current baby boomer professionals will be retiring soon and with it the pros-pect there may not be enough people entering the profession to meet the current demand for ser-vices. With a growing number of the general public recognizing that active lifestyles facilitate a greater quality of life these trends highlight the need to retain workers currently in the profession. As reflected by reviews of commitment research in other service industries (Lee, Carswell, & Allen, 2000; Meyer & Allen, 1997), occupational commitment can be influenced by tenure with an organi-zation, career field, the specific job performed, and the organization in which employed (Frauman, Cunningham, and Ivy, 2009; Morrow, 1983; Wahn, 1998). Two additional factors that may influence occupational commitment, particularly among park and recreation professionals, are monetary com-pensation and an individual’s ethic towards leisure. As such, the primary purpose of this research was to examine how park and recreation professional’s perceptions of leisure and money relate to and influence occupational commitment. Questionnaires were mailed to a sample of 700 members of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) representing branches of the organization most likely linked to recreation provi-sion (e.g., National Society for Park Resources). The Occupational Commitment Scale (Meyer, Allen, & Smith, 1993) was used as were leisure and money ethic measures (Crandall & Slivken, 1978; Tang, 1995). The sample valued leisure and thought of money as good but did not consider money a sign of achievement. Leisure and money ethic were not meaningfully related to or good predictors of occupational commitment. Given the findings and impending changes in the profession more re-search is needed to further examine the roles of money and leisure as well as other factors that may influence occupational commitment among recreation and park professionals.
Key Words: Money ethic, leisure ethic, occupational commitment, recreation professionals

The Influence of Leisure Motivation on Leisure Satisfaction
Brent A. Beggs, Ph.D.
Daniel J. Elkins, Ph.D.
(July 2010)

Satisfying leisure experiences are important during the college years in establishing life-long leisure patterns.  These experiences can be better understood through knowing what motivates people to participate and how those motivations impact a satisfying experience.  The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between leisure motivation and leisure satisfaction of college students.  This study utilized the Leisure Motivation Scale and the Leisure Satisfaction Scale to examine the relationship between leisure motivation and leisure satisfaction.  Survey research was utilized to collect the data from a Midwestern campus using a purposeful sample of students enrolled in academic courses known to be representative of the student population (N=363).  The data were analyzed descriptively and the overall leisure satisfaction score was also computed for the purposes of measuring the extent to which perceived motives were associated with overall leisure satisfaction using multiple regression analysis.  Multiple regression was used to analyze the contribution of each motivation subscale to leisure satisfaction. Overall, students were highly motivated by competence/mastery factors.  Also students perceived high levels of satisfaction in the relaxation and psychological dimensions of satisfaction.  Further analysis indicated significant correlation between the four subscales of motivation and leisure satisfaction.  The predictors of leisure satisfaction, in order of strength of association, were: competence/mastery factors, intellectual factors, and stimulus/avoidance factors. 

Key Words: leisure satisfaction, leisure motivation, college students
Outcomes of an After-School Soccer Program for At-Risk Youth
Nancy Hritz, Ph.D.

Danny E. Johnson, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS

Candace Ashton-Shaeffer, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
Kirk W. Brown, Ph.D.

(July 2010)

Children’s use of time after-school is a public concern, particularly for elementary school youth considered “at-risk (Halpern, 2003). In the United States, after-school programs are viewed as a solution for poor academic performance. Lauer, et. al., (2004) found low academically performing at-risk children improved their reading and math scores after participating in an after school program. In addition, after school programs that focus specifically on recreational sports have the potential to positively enhance self esteem for adolescents (Peterson & Seidman, 2004; Todd & Kent, 2003). This study examined the academic and social outcomes of an after school recreation program for at risk elementary school children. Pre and post participation data revealed significant academic improvement in math and reading scores and improved social skills. Teachers also reported positive improvement in behaviors such as time-management, acceptance of criticism, and cooperation. Students responded favorably stating they felt better about school and making friends.

Key Words: at-risk, after school programs, self-esteem

A Comparison of Travel Decisions Between U.S. and International Students
Dejtisak, Ph.D., Srinakharinwirot University
Amy R. Hurd, Ph.D.,
Illinois State University
Daniel J. Elkins, Ph.D., Illinois State University
Barbara Elwood Schlatter, Ph.D., Illinois State University
(Jan 2009)

Travel and tourism is a major industry in the United States and internationally. Because it impacts regional development, local and national economies, and community employment rates, there is a need to understand the social and psychological forces and factors that motivate and satisfy individual travelers. The purpose of this study was to compare travel decisions between United States and international students at a Midwestern university based on Dann’s (1977) push and pull motivation factors.  This study utilized a modified travel motivation survey from previous research to indicate the importance of travel motivations based on the 39 push and 27 pull motivation factors.  Demographic information including gender, residency, and level of education were also analyzed to determine if such factors contributed to differences in travel motivation. The results indicated that the most important travel motivators were to have fun, see and experience a new destination, and to reduce stress. There were gender differences on 24 push and pull items with females rating all but viewing sporting events higher than males. When students in the United States were compared to international students, there were significant differences on 27 push and pull items. Respondents from the United States had higher means on a majority of the push factors with the exception of rediscovering myself. The findings of this study have implications for leisure and tourism service practitioners in that there are slight differences in travel motivation of college students in terms of gender and whether the student is domestic or international. Understanding these similarities and differences can impact tourism marketing to college students.

Student perceptions of teacher evaluations in a recreation curriculum: The role of student gender
H. Joey Gray, Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University
Sarah J. Young, Ph. D., CPRP
(Jan 2009)

The present investigation focuses upon the role student gender plays in influencing student perspectives of teacher evaluations in a recreation curriculum. A variety of variables influencing teacher evaluation outcomes at the collegiate level have been discussed in the literature, yet how students perceive these evaluations and how that perception might influence their responses has been scantly explored. The findings of the study revealed gender can be indicative of student perceptions and responses on teacher evaluations. The specific categories illustrating significant differences by gender included (a) knowledge of how evaluation outcomes is used, (b) seriousness with which students take evaluations, and (c) accuracy of student responses. The study indicated that female students may be more likely than males to be knowledgeable, take completing evaluations seriously, and provide accurate responses. This information may assist both instructors and administrators in order to more accurately explain and interpret student responses of teacher evaluations for specific courses. Future recommendations and implications for instructors and administrators are discussed.

Key Words: Student evaluations of teachers, gender, recreation, curriculum

Interest and Participation of University Students in the Arts: A Canadian Case.
Don Dawson,  Ph.D.,
University of Ottawa
François Gravelle, Ph.D., University of Ottawa
George Karlis, Ph.D., University of Ottawa
Kelly Kilrea, University of Ottawa
(Dec 2008)

How interested are young people, especially university students, in the arts? To what extent do they participate in such activities? To address these questions a group of undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada completed a questionnaire concerning their interest and participation in certain arts activities (including reading for pleasure; arts and crafts, museums and historical sites, music, dance and theatre). Whereas some of the students took advantage of the numerous arts and cultural opportunities available to them, many others expressed a lack of interest in such activities and did not widely participate in them. Those who did participate in arts activities often had a family history of doing so. There was no significant variance in interest and participation in the arts by the student’s age or year of study. Differences were found between male and female students, showing that females generally indicated a greater interest in arts and culture, whereas many males showed a greater liking for less “passive” activities such as sports. In general, the students’ interest and participation in arts activities could be typified as variable. Schools are seen to have a role in promoting the arts and encouraging young people to participate in arts activities.

Comparative Analyses of Constraint Negotiation Strategies in Campus Recreational Sports
Daniel J. Elkins, Ph.D., IllinoisStateUniversity
Brent A. Beggs, Ph.D. , IllinoisStateUniversity
(July 2007)

Leisure constraints, defined as factors that may negatively affect participation in recreational activities, have been extensively investigated over the last 20 years.There is evidence to support the notion that despite the presence of constraints, individuals still participate in recreational activities.A limited amount of research has examined how individuals overcome or “negotiate” constraints, enabling them to engage in leisure activities.The purpose of this study was to determine if differences existed in the use of negotiation based on the degree of constraint perceived and the level of participation in sports activities.The sample of this study consisted of college students at two Midwestern universities (N=911).

Negotiation strategies were compared based on level of participation and perceived level of constraint using 2 X 2 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).Results indicated significant differences in negotiation between regular participants in campus recreational sports and those who did not participate regularly in the use of time management, physical fitness, interpersonal coordination, and improving finances strategies.Significant differences in negotiation were also found among students with differing levels of perceived constraint in utilization of negotiation strategies.The higher the perception of structural constraints, the more likely an individual was to make attempts to modify their schedule and make financial adjustments in order to make time to participate.Additionally, individuals moderately constrained were significantly more likely to use change their leisure aspirations than those who perceived a low level of intrapersonal constraint.

The results of this study indicate that an individual’s willingness to negotiate leisure constraints plays an important role in participation in campus recreational sports.By addressing different constraints and negotiation strategies, campus recreational sports providers may be able to meet the needs of more students and increase levels of participation.

KEYWORDS:leisure constraints, negotiation strategies, campus recreation, college students

Status of the Park and Recreation Profession in Washington State
Dorothy M. Chase, Ph.D., Central Washington University
Barbara A. Masberg, Ph.D., Central Washington University
(July 2007)

The purpose of this research was to the challenges faced by managers in park and recreation agencies. Based on a broad-based and open-ended survey, this study felt the pulse of managers at a point in time, revealing their challenges and providing recommendations for addressing these challenges. The top five challenges identified were: human resources; funding; supply and demand; image, credibility, and advocacy; leadership and management.
Qualitative responses illustrated a sense of frustration, anxiety, and even crisis based on a perceived downgrade of parks and recreation as an essential service vis-à-vis police and fire services. Respondents indicated human resource challenges focused on recruitment, retention, and motivation. Funding issues arose from all areas including internal, external, and the macro environment. Supply seemed to be increasing seen by a high forecast of new facilities, but budget problems continued. Managers believed that collectively and individually, their greatest need was in strengthening their advocacy abilities to build the case for recreation benefits with funding sources and the public. Finally, leadership and management were a concern as managers felt they lacked general, supervisory, and time management skills. The Discussion provides a number of recommendations drawn from the literature, the data, and elaborated by the authors.

Keywords: advocacy, challenges, human resources, management, motivation, park and recreation, retention

Assessing a Conceptual Framework for Managing Volunteers Within Trail Organizations
Benoni Amsden, Ph.D., Penn State University
Dennis Propst, Ph.D., Penn State University
(July 2007)


Long distance hiking trails are subject to the pressures of both human visitors and management conflicts. Resource conservation, volunteer management, and ecological concerns are only a few of the topics occupying the organizations that manage these trails. With a work force made up mainly of volunteers, these groups adopt as their mission both the maintenance of many miles of trail, and the protection of the recreation opportunities those trails provide. Our qualitative, case study approach examined one of these trail management organizations, assessing the extent to which it has adopted and implemented best practices for managing its volunteer workforce. Using this organization as a template, we also explored if and how best practices can be used to measure the effectiveness of the volunteer programs on which these types of organizations so heavily rely. Our findings revealed that best practices, when implemented, 1) result in a stronger volunteer workforce, and 2) are important ingredients in an effectiveness model designed specifically for trail management organizations. Understanding and implementing best practices for volunteer management is of growing importance in an era of shrinking budgets and heightened accountability

Sexual orientation and team cohesion in women’s intercollegiate basketball
Stacey R. Altman, J.D., East Carolina University
Cheryl Estes, PhD., East Carolina University
Felicia Tittle, M.S., East Carolina University
(July 2006)

The purpose of this study was to examine how sexual orientation affected athletes’ team cohesion in women’s collegiate basketball. Thirty-five athletes from three colleges completed a modified Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ). The athletes’ scores were similar on task cohesion. However, their scores differed on social cohesion with athletes that self-identified as lesbians scoring lower than those athletes that did not identify as lesbians. The perceived presence of  non-self-identified lesbians affected how athletes viewed the closeness of the team as a whole. While literature supports that task, rather than social, cohesion predicts effect on team performance, social cohesion is important to reaching student development goals for many collegiate athletic programs. The present study was an initial, descriptive step toward filling a gap between scholarly discourse and perceptions regarding sexual orientation in women’s intercollegiate sports. The results, while not generalizable to other female collegiate athletes, are empirical evidence and they create a foundation for future studies that will be needed to explore and validate findings in this important area.

Keywords: team cohesion, Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ), sexual orientation, coaching, sport administration

Sensation Seeking in Texas HPER and Elementary Education College Students
Deborah J. Buswell, Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University
Gay James, Ph.D., Texas Woman's University
(July 2006)

The purpose of this study was to examine students who were attending a mid-size university and majoring in health, physical education, recreation, and elementary education in regard to their sensation seeking behavior interests and preferences. Three hundred thirty-two students completed a written survey consisting of a set of 10 demographic questions and 40 forced choice items from the Sensation Seeking Scale V (Zuckerman, 1994). Females accounted for 57.1% of the population,  69.5% were Caucasian, and 74.6% were between 21-25 years of age. Analysis, completed using a two-way mixed model ANOVA, indicated that males scored significantly higher than females on the total scale score and on the disinhibition and boredom susceptibility subscales but not on the thrill and adventure seeking or experience seeking subscales. All majors scored highest on the thrill and adventure seeking subscale and lowest on the boredom susceptibility subscale. These  scores indicate that students make choices that may involve physical danger and high levels of risk and they do so, not because they have nothing better to do but because they want to expand on their experiences. Analysis of specific questions on the instrument related to unhealthy behaviors raises a number of concerns for universities and demonstrates a need to provide alternative experiences for students to meet the needs of sensation seeking in more healthy ways.

Keywords: sensation seeking, college students and risk taking, thrill and adventure seeking

Combining WAC and Recreation: Using Writing as a Tool to Facilitate a Service Learning Experience
Deborah Smith, Associate Professor, Southern Connecticut State University
(May 2006)

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) is a growing movement across college campuses that encourages the use of writing to develop and communicate knowledge in and across disciplines. This article describes a pedagogical model developed by the author to use writing as a tool for both building required service learning competencies, and engaging students in post-event synthesis and evaluation.

Key Words: writing across the curriculum (WAC), service learning, Bloom’s taxonomy, process learning

Youth Heading for Trouble: Can Leisure Help in Vladimir, Russia?
Barbara Elwood Schlatter, Associate Professor, Illinois State University
Marta K. Moorman, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Yelena Bychkovskikh, Vladimir City Administration, Russia
(Mar 2006)

Vladimir, Russia is a large industrial city located northeast of Moscow.  Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, broad access to public parks was negatively affected by a reduction in government funding (Service, 2003). Concomitantly, profit-based “corporate leisure activity” (Bykhovskaya, 2004) grew to meet the needs of a relatively small cohort of affluent urban youth.  In Vladimir, young people spend their summers drinking beer, smoking, and getting into trouble; and few are attracted to the declining parks. Failure to address these youth-related problems places demands on law enforcement resources and interferes with economic development. The purpose of this paper was to examine the extent to which public parks meet the leisure needs of Vladimir youth in post-perestroika Russia. Researchers conducted separate in-depth interviews with park directors and a focus group with youth (using a translator for both) during a recent visit to Vladimir. Directors identified challenges and assets of their parks. Challenges identified included: limited government funding for parks, resulting in staff complacency; the dilemma of free versus fee-based attractions; and vandalism. Assets identified included: professionals’ genuine concern for youth; presence of well-organized youth groups; existence of city beautification projects, and presence of a low-cost mass transportation system. Youth identified leisure needs including free facilities open daily, facilities with few equipment needs, and facilities resistant to vandalism. While facilities are important, the authors argued that organized programs will be more effective in steering youth away from negative influences. Leisure professionals in the United States have employed outcome-based programming approaches (e.g. Benefits Based Programming) to create programs that foster resiliency among troubled youth. Future research should test the effectiveness of a cultural adaptation of outcome-based programming for Vladimir youth.  Finally, there should be a further assessment of management practices by public park directors.

Key words:  youth, Russia, leisure, facilities

Customer Satisfaction at Water-based Outdoor Recreation Settings:  Understanding Differences Across Market Segments
Robert C. Burns, Ph.D.
Alan R. Graefe, Ph.D.
(December 2005)

This study explored two research questions related to the nature of customer satisfaction among various segments of visitors at water-based outdoor recreation settings.  The first question involved comparing overall satisfaction and various domains of customer service (facilities, services, information, and recreation experience) across user types based on primary activity (ramp users, campers, or day users) and other demographic/trip-related variables.  The second research question focused on variables that influence overall satisfaction, again comparing predictive models of satisfaction across user segments.  Data were collected through on-site interviews with visitors at ten Corps of Engineers lakes located in ten states across the United States.

The first question, focusing on comparing reported satisfaction levels across various user segments, found many significant differences between subgroups of recreationists.  For example, campers were generally more satisfied than members of the other activity groups with all aspects of their outings.  Likewise, visitors traveling with children and older visitors tended to report higher satisfaction levels.  Those traveling greater distances from home were also more satisfied with the facilities, services, and information they encountered than local visitors.

Regarding the second research question, the comparison of regression models across various user characteristics showed only minor differences.  Thus, although satisfaction levels varied across segments of visitors, the variables influencing overall satisfaction were remarkably stable.  Overall satisfaction was correlated to all four customer service domains, and varying combinations of the domains accounted for 13 to 19% of the variance in overall satisfaction.  The strongest predictive
model was found for day users, in which 19% of the variance in overall satisfaction was accounted for by satisfaction with facilities, services, and information.

Key words: customer satisfaction, market segmentation, service quality, water-based recreation

Spatial Relationship of Public Outdoor Recreation Areas: Proximity to Local Residents
Soonmo Chung
Jaclyn A. Card
Shu T. Cole
August 2005

The study examined the relationship between the spatial distribution of public lands used for outdoor recreation and the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of local residents. Specifically, the researchers analyzed demographic characteristics of census block groups within close proximity to outdoor state and national parks in Missouri. Findings implied that whites with low income and blue collar occupations are more likely to live close to the parks than other groups.  The spatial patterns indicated that the demographic makeup of residents is spatially associated with the geographic distribution of outdoor recreation lands. Outdoor recreation planners can use the results when planning new areas or enhancing existing areas by considering the makeup of the surrounding community.

Key Words: spatial relationship, GIS, outdoor recreation, state parks, national parks.

Mentoring At-Risk Youth Through In-School Recreation: Issues in Program Evaluation
Don Dawson
Angela Gray
Kealey Hester
August 2004

Abstract: Mentoring is an increasingly popular approach to dealing with the needs of at-risk youth. Mentors are generally older, more experienced people who serve as good role models and offer positive encouragement to youth. At-risk youth are young people who are deemed to be at-risk of doing poorly in school, getting in trouble in the community, and otherwise not achieving their full potential. Among the variety of program innovations there are numerous recreational interventions and school-based initiatives. One such specialized program, Mentoring At-Risk Youth Through In-School Recreation, is examined. In the program, university students volunteer as mentors for at-risk children and youth in local schools. The mentors assist the at-risk students academically in the classroom and organize recreational activities for them during the school day.  Initial evaluations conducted with mentors show the program to be successful in improving the self-esteem, social skills and academic performance of at-risk students. However, these evaluations face a series of obstacles, and need to be further developed and expanded.
Key Words: mentoring; at-risk; youth; recreation; school; program evaluation.

The Effect of Manipulating Aspects of Challenge Course Facilitation on Participant Perceived Benefits
Dr. Donna K. Lindenmeier
Dr. Terry D. Long
Dr. Terry P. Robertson
June 2004

Abstract: Benefits driven programming has become a core philosophical and practical element in the provision of recreation and leisure services.  Likewise, proponents of challenge and adventure-based programs have historically justified the use of challenge courses with the claim that a variety of intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits are created through participation.  The existence of these benefits has been supported through research; however, there is an absence of studies that consider how the challenge course experience actually elicits such benefits.  Aspects of facilitation that may impact whether or not such benefits occur include the surrounding environment, activity adaptation, front-loading, interpersonal interactions, and debriefing.  The purpose of this study was to  determine how the existence of certain benefits would be influenced by variation in the surrounding environment.   A total of 75 college students were asked to indicate what benefits their group
had received following participation in either a low elements or a high elements challenge course program.  Results indicated that certain benefits persisted in both the high and low element environments (e.g., communication, trust), whereas others were absent from both environments (e.g., honesty, compassion).  Furthermore, certain benefits were significantly more common in either the low elements environment (e.g., leadership, patience) or the high elements environment (e.g., confidence, excitement).  These findings support the need for challenge course facilitators to systematically examine the benefits produced by their programs. Challenge courses do not guarantee that a benefit will occur, but appropriate manipulation of various aspects of facilitation may enhance the likelihood of experiencing any particular benefit.

An Exploratory Study of Collaborative Efforts Between Local Law Enforcement Agencies and PublicParks and Recreation Departments
Julie S. Knapp, Ph.D.
Lynn M. Jamieson, Re.D.
Feb 2004

Abstract: Parks and recreation departments throughout North America have partnered with a number of different agencies to provide a variety of diverse services to maintain and improve the quality of life for their constituents. An exploratory study was conducted to investigate the nature of collaborative efforts between parks and recreation departments and law enforcement agencies.The study was conducted with law enforcement administrators and officers, parks and recreation administrators and recreation staff.Study observations, interviews, and document analyses were carried out to capture perceptions and experiences of individuals within these settings. The constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was used for analysis of interviews, field observation, and documents. The core theme resulting from the analysis was that collaborative partnerships were formed based on positive relationships established between law enforcement and the parks and recreation departments.
Keywords:Collaboration, Law Enforcement, Parks and Recreation, Qualitative Research

Establishing the Reliability of The Smiley Face Assessment Scale: Test-Retest
Heewon Yang, Ph.D.
Jan 2004

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to establish the reliability of the Smiley Face Assessment Scale administered at Camp Koinonia, which is an outdoor camping program for children with multiple disabilities in eastern Tennessee (the Knoxville area).  The subjects for this study were 100 campers attending the camp during April 6 – 11, 1997.  The Smiley Face Assessment Scale, which is a self-report instrument with a pictorial response system (five faces), was used to measure the degree of campers satisfaction with their camp experiences.  The instrument was completed by each camper twice (test-retest) with the help of his or her counselor. Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient was used to determine the relationships between the results of the whole group of campers, each cabin group, male and female campers, and anonymous and non-onymous campers on the two consecutive days.  Most data provided in this study supported the hypothesis that the Smiley Face Assessment Scale is a reliable instrument to use for the participants of Camp Koinonia (16 out of 17 correlations of this study were proved to be significant at p < .01 level).
Key Words:  The Smiley Face Assessment Scale, Reliability, Likert-type scale, Correlation Coefficient. 

Teaching Resume Effectiveness: Results from a Recreation Administrators’ Study
Sarah J. Young, Ph. D., CPRP
Craig M Ross, Re.D.
December 2003

Abstract: While there is a plethora of literature providing general advice in the development of resumes, little has been focused specifically upon the field of recreation.  Much of the general literature regarding resumes has a business focus, is based upon the experiences of the authors, and is rarely supported by empirical research.  Because of this lack of research, a study was conducted to determine the preferences of administrators in municipal recreation settings for resume content
and design for individuals seeking entry-level professional positions.  Insight into the preferences of administrators in municipal recreation settings is valuable not only to those individuals seeking positions for the first time, but also to university faculty, advisors and professionals teaching recreation who are advising students beginning the job search process.  The results indicated differences between the popular literature and the administrators’ use of references and length of the resume. The findings of the study help share credible information about resumes with students, part-time employees, or recent graduates who intend to pursue a career in this field.
Keywords: Resume content preferences, job search process, resume research, curriculum development

Role of Manager and Visitor Self-Interest in Wilderness Management:Nordhouse Dunes and Limits of Acceptable Change
Dennis B. Propst, Ph.D.
Maureen H. McDonough
Ami Wiita
September 2003

Abstract: The traditional role of the resource manager as omniscient, autocratic expert is being challenged in conjunction with challenges to authority-based leadership models across society.  This trend poses a dilemma for the managers of eastern wilderness.  Some form of recreational use restriction may need to be applied to these small preserves in the populous East, but citizens and wilderness users increasingly demand a say in such decisions. Study objectives were to develop a conceptual model that integrates the motivator, self-interest, into the "Limits of Acceptable Change" planning system (LAC) and to illustrate how to use the model to resolve manager/user conflicts. A yearlong survey of visitors at Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness (Michigan) provided a case to which to apply the model. Survey results presented managers with conflicting information about managers’ predetermined management strategies.  A key finding was that managers and users differ in perceptions of crowding and appropriate behaviors at Nordhouse Dunes. Once researchers discussed the survey results with managers, assisted in the discovery of areas of mutual self-interest and facilitated a cooperative learning session, managers incorporated conflicting information into their decisions and changed preconceived management actions. The mutual self-interest model holds much promise for conflict resolution—before the conflicts begin.

KEYWORDS: outdoor recreation, wilderness, self-interest, common property resource management, limits of acceptable change, conflict resolution

Privatization and Its Effect on Public Golf Employees
Thomas F. Gustafson, Ph.D.
Daniel D. McLean, Ph.D.
October 2002

The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of privatization of public golf courses on employees of those courses. Five golf course managers who were employed by the city prior to, during, and after the privatization of the golf courses were interviewed. Their perceptions of the process and results were studied. The literature on privatization addresses employee issues in the context of downsizing (Box, 1999), cost savings, and reduction of the public work force (Jackson, 1997). Lacking are studies on the effects of privatization from the view of the employees. Qualitative case study methodology (Merriam, 1988) with purposive or purposeful (Patton, 1980) sampling was used to examine the phenomenon. That data was coded and organized by sentences to record the complete ideas expressed by the participants. Three categories of responses emerged from the data: change, learning and adaptation, and autonomy. Privatization of the golf courses required the employees to expand their responsibilities and direct the maintenance of the facilities. In addition, it gave them more decision making authority on day-to-day operations. After the initial adjustment period, they preferred the new service delivery system and wanted increased decision making authority and autonomy.
Keywords: privatization, golf, public employees

Faculty Diversity in the 21st Century: A National Profile
Barbara Elwood Schlatter, Ph.D.
August 2002

Changing demographics will result in a workforce shift where racial/ethnic minorities will represent nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce by 2008. Such projections pose a challenge to recreation, park, and leisure studies educators in the 21st century who are charged with the responsibility of preparing students in an increasingly diverse society. One response to this challenge has been to infuse diversity issues into the curricula. Another response has been to diversify the academic workplace. The purpose of this study was to present an accurate picture of faculty and doctoral students in this curricula in terms of selected demographic variables.  Data were examined from a national profile of recreation, park, and leisure studies faculty and doctoral students. A three-part survey was sent to department chairpersons and program directors listed in the Society of Park and Recreation Educators Curriculum Catalog. Survey items included institutional geographic location, accreditation status, presence of a doctoral program, and faculty/doctoral student demographics.  The findings revealed that faculty and doctoral students in the sample were underrepresented in terms of minorities and females.  When comparisons of gender and race/ethnicity of faculty were made across rank, few proportional differences were found suggesting that underrepresented groups may be experiencing some degree success in higher education, although further study is needed.  The discussion section outlined the need to recruit and mentor diverse faculty and doctoral students. The study findings are useful to administrators, search committees, and faculty members in the field who are involved in enhancing diversity in the academic workplace. Future studies should examine steps being taken to develop work place diversity in academia.
Keywords: faculty, doctoral students, diversity, gender, race, ethnicity, higher education, workplace diversity

Older Chinese Women Immigrants and Their Leisure Experiences
Ching-Hua Ho, M.S.
Jaclyn A. Card, Ph.D.
August 2002

The concept of leisure generally focuses on men.  This is especially true in traditional Chinese society where women seldom express their thoughts about leisure.  For many Chinese women, the integration of household and leisure is necessary to find meaning in life.  Based on this concept, we explored older Chinese women immigrants' leisure experiences before and after their immigration to the United States.  We also explored barriers to their leisure that the women faced in the United States.  Using in-depth interviews, we delved into the leisure lives of nine older Chinese women.  Four themes emerged based on the interviews:  (1) leisure participation before and after immigration to the United States; (2) leisure constraints experienced in the United States; (3) effect of filial piety on leisure; and (4) the meaning of leisure and life satisfaction.  Excerpts from the interviews illustrate each theme.
Keywords:  Chinese women, qualitative research, women’s leisure

Age-Related Differences in Reaction Time of Healthy Older Amateur Golfers
Virginia Politano, Ph.D.
Thornton Draper, Ph.D.
Mickie R. McCormick, Ph.D.
August 2002

Age-related differences in reaction time of healthy older amateur golfers between the ages of 50 and 85 were investigated.  The participants were twenty-four (24) amateur golfers who play golf at least 2 to 3 times a week.  The participants were assessed on two types of reaction time – simple reaction time (SRT) and choice reaction time (CRT) tests.  There were two tests for the CRT – one-choice and two-choice reaction time tasks.  A statistically significant difference was found between age and the two-choice CRT, F (2,21) = 6.0, p <.008.  The younger participants (50-70 years of age) performed better on the two choice CRT than the older participants (71-85).  The observation that this effect was seen with increasing task complexity is consistent with research previously conducted.
Keywords: aging, reaction time, golf

Adolescents with Aggressive Behavior: Implications for Therapeutic Recreation
Heewon Yang, Ph.D.
August 2002

Aggressive behavior and violence are perhaps one of the most serious social problems among adolescents in the United States today.  This paper attempted to provide intervention guidelines for TR practice for adolescents with aggressive behavior based on aggression theories. First, in this paper, theoretical backgrounds of aggressive behavior (e.g., definition, diagnostic criteria, and types of aggressive behaviors) are reviewed. Second, factors that influence the aggressive behavioral tendencies and the related theories of those behaviors are followed. Third, individual characteristics and developmental patterns for adolescents with aggressive behavior and the benefits of leisure to the developmental tasks for this population are discussed.  Finally, implications for TR practice and guidelines for effective facilitation of TR programs are provided.
Keywords: Aggressive behavior, adolescent, therapeutic recreation

Development of a Family Recreation Research Agenda
Patti A. Freeman, Ph.D.
Brian J. Hill, Ph.D.
Christy Huff, B.S.
March 2002

 Family life is receiving a surge of attention from politicians, media, and social scientists (Kelly, 1997). While a rich heritage of family leisure research has been developed and reviewed (Freysinger, 1997; Hawks, 1991; Holman & Epperson, 1984; Kelly, 1997; Orthner & Mancini, 1990; Shaw, 1997), no systematic approach has guided this body of work or necessarily connected the divergent themes. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to develop such an agenda. To do so, a Delphi technique (Delbecq, Van de Ven, & Gustafson, 1975; Moeller & Shafer, 1987) was utilized to collect input from experts concerning the direction they felt research in family recreation should take. A list of 22 academics and professionals were identified using the Nominal Group Process. Of the 22 initially contacted, 19 agreed to participate in the study. The panel was asked to respond to the following question, “What topics, issues and specific research questions ought to be addressed and answered to build the body of knowledge in family recreation?” The initial responses were organized around themes and the panel then ranked the research topics and questions. The final round of the process asked for clarification and feedback. A list of 20 general topic areas for future research was identified, the top five were: Developing Healthy and Successful Families, Increasing Family Cohesion, Improving family functioning, Examining demands for family time, and Defining family and family structure. The top 10 research questions were also identified.
Keywords: Family leisure, family recreation, Delphi technique

Student Involvement in Campus Recreational Sports Activities and Gains in Team-Functioning
Bob Barcelona, Ph.D.
March 2002

The field of campus recreation has long espoused the contributions of participation in recreational sport activities to student learning and development gains.  Unfortunately, the evidence to support such claims is often anecdotal or rooted in the general experiences of practitioners in the field.  As such, there is little research demonstrating the impact of student involvement in this area of campus life.  Utilizing data derived from the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ) from 1990-1998, this study examined the relationship between undergraduate students’ self-reported gains in their ability to function as a team member and involvement in four areas of student life: (a) art, music and theater; (b) recreational sport programs and facilities; (c) clubs and student organizations; and (d) student union activities.  The results of the study indicated that involvement in recreational sport programs and facilities and clubs and student organizations were significant predictors of gains in team functioning, with involvement in recreational sport programs and facilities being the strongest predictor.  In the presence of the other variables, involvement in both student union activities and art, music and theater did not significantly enhance gains in team functioning.
Key Word: Collegiate recreational sports, student development, higher education outcomes, student involvement 

A Cross-Cultural Study of Desired Psychological Benefits to Leisure of
American, Canadian, Japanese and Taiwanese College Students
Carlton F. Yoshioka, Ph.D.
Ralph Nilson, Ph.D.
Steven Simpson, Ph.D.
February 2002

Abstract: This study compared desired psychological benefits of leisure participation in American, Canadian, Japanese, and Taiwanese college students via a sample of 449 respondents who were administered the Recreation Experience Preference (REP) scale.  Factor analysis of the REP scale resulted in domains of desired psychological benefits: achievement, nature appreciation, solitude/escape, family and thrills/fun.   Two of the five desired psychological benefit domains contributed to significant differences between the four samples of students as determined by a MANOVA procedure.  The expectation that North American students would differ from the Asian students was partially supported in the domains of fun/thrills and achievement.  Interestingly, no differences were found between the students on the domains of nature appreciation, solitude/escape and family.  More research is needed to verify the use of the REP scales and these results.
Keywords:  cross-cultural, desired psychological benefits, leisure participation

Advancing beyond the classroom: Reflections on the research process
Michelle Morton
Katie Benfield
Diane Groff, Ed.D, TRS/CTRS
January 2002

Abstract: The following case study provides the results of an applied research project regarding the effects of aquatic therapy on the perceived pain of individuals with arthritis. The results of a dependent t-test revealed that participants’ (N=13) perceived level of arthritic pain was significantly lower after participation in aquatic therapy (t=10.19, df=12, p=.000). In addition to the research findings, narrative regarding the undergraduate students’ perceptions of conducting research is provided. The students and their professor provide insight on how an applied research project can enhance undergraduate education, as well as, encourage the continuation of applied research within the field of recreational therapy. The implications of this experience to the recreational therapy profession and the education of future students are discussed.
Keywords: Aquatic therapy, arthritis, experiential education, recreational therapy, research methods, undergraduate education. 

Building Problem-Based Learning into the Recreation Curriculum:
A Case Study Examination of the Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Three Stage Simulation Unit
Deborah A. Smith, Re.D.
Barbara Masberg, Ph.D.
October 2001

Abstract: Problem-based learning refers to a variety of educational methods that use problems as a context for student learning. This paper describes the efforts of the authors to create and develop a problem-based simulation unit of instruction for a recreation course. The context for creating a problem-based unit is described. The four phases of the design process used to organize the simulation development are outlined and explained. Evaluation findings related to cognitive and affective outcomes associated with the simulation are discussed as are issues related to simulation design mechanisms and the facilitation of the simulation process. The paper concludes with implications  for creating problem-based learning in the recreation curriculum.
Keywords: problem-based learning, simulation

The Importance of Legal Aspects for New Professionals in Recreational Sports:A Perspective of Practicing Professionals
Sarah J. Young, Ph. D., CPRP
February 2001

Abstract: Since there has been a documented increase in litigation related to recreational sports programs in the United States over the past couple of decades, what should students preparing for careers in recreational sports be learning in regard to legal aspects? This question was posed to administrators in both municipal recreation and campus recreational sports settings. Eight areas of legal study were defined while respondents were asked to rate the importance of each legal area for both undergraduate and graduate recreational sport curriculums. Risk management was the legal area that was perceived by the recreation administrators in this study as most important for both levels of curricula in which to have knowledge, experience and training. Additionally, the areas of administrative law, tort law and contract law were viewed as applicable and important to the delivery of recreational sport programs.
Keywords: legal aspects, recreational sports, risk management, curriculum

A Case Study of the Willingness to Volunteer for a Public Leisure Service Organization
James A. Busser, Ph.D
Michael S. Norwalk, M.S.
January 2001

Abstract: Americans have a long history of voluntary service. One estimate suggests that approximately 20% of Americans were engaged in organized volunteer work. Of that group, 10% volunteer for leisure service organizations (Independent Sector, 1996). In this time of reduced or stagnant leisure service agency budgets, volunteers are extremely important for leisure service agencies in meeting the increasing demands of the public. As a result, there is a need to fully understand volunteer demographic makeup and motivations. The purpose of this study was to explore the characteristics of adults willing to volunteer for a public leisure service agency. A telephone survey of 640 adults was conducted in a large urban area in the southwestern U.S. Of the sample, 230 adults (36%) indicated a willingness to volunteer for the leisure service agency. This is higher than the national average who actually volunteer and suggests that leisure service agencies may not be recruiting potential willing volunteers. Results also indicated that adults who used parks, recreation and cultural facilities and participated in recreation programs were more willing to volunteer than those who did not utilize leisure services. Respondents’ ages 56 and older were less willing to volunteer than younger individuals. Demographic characteristics were not related to motivations for volunteering. The most important volunteer motive was altruism. Men and women did differ, however, in the types of volunteer experiences desired. Women were more interested in programs for the disabled, senior day care and teaching classes than men. On the other hand, men were more interested in youth sport coaching. The most prevalent barrier to volunteering was the lack of time. The paper offers implications for the recruitment and retention of volunteers for leisure service managers.
Keywords: volunteerism,  public/municipal leisure service agency

Risk Behaviors of College Students and Recreation Majors: A Comparison
Gay James, Ph.D.
Kim Siegenthaler, Ph.D.
Michal Anne Lord, Ph.D.
January 2000

Abstract:The purpose of this study was to examine the health risk behaviors of recreation majors at two four-year universities. The health risks were assessed using the 1995 National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, which had been utilized to monitor health risk behaviors of undergraduate university students across the nation. The study sample was 268 (Texas N=143, North Carolina N=125) undergraduate recreation majors enrolled in entry level and upper level classes. The results on dietary habits and physical activity varied between the states and from the national results. However, the results of this study indicated that the recreation majors had a higher participation rate than the 1995 national respondents in several high risk activities, such as intentional injuries (accidents), alcohol use, marijuana use, tobacco use, and sexual behaviors. These health behaviors are of concern for two reasons; the risk behaviors are associated with major causes of mortality and morbidity, and the professional concerns for recreation majors and their development of leisure activities. Study results could be utilized in two ways: 1) as a baseline of descriptive data for recreation majors, and 2) in program development to focus on healthy college communities and the reduction of negative behavioral risks for college students, especially recreation majors.
Key Words: risky behaviors in recreation majors, health behaviors of recreation, majors risky lifestyles in recreation majors, substance use in recreation majors

A Comparative Analysis of Information Technology Trends in Collegiate Recreational Sports: 1994-1998
Craig M. Ross, Re.D.
Scott Forrester, M.S.
January 2000

Abstract: This paper compares and examines the findings of two studies conducted in 1994 and 1998 on information technology trends in collegiate recreational sports. A review of the related literature revealed a lack of research and a need for more studies that clearly define the current trends and status of collegiate recreational sports computerization. This comparative study examines the trends in the overall level of computer investment, the difference in software applications used, the opinions towards computers and the number of computer support staff members in recreational sports departments. The findings of the study clearly demonstrated that information technology is playing a significant role in collegiate recreational sports and will have a tremendous impact in the delivery of services in years to come
Keywords: information technology trends, computers, collegiate recreational sports

The Process of Privatizing Public Golf Courses
Thomas F. Gustafson, Ph.D.
December 1999

Abstract: Municipalities and recreation departments have begun to privatize specific services in response to shrinking budgets and the need to continue providing quality services to their clients. Much has been written about privatization conceptually, but few empirical studies have been done. Employing qualitative research methods, the purpose of the study was to examine the process three cities underwent to accomplish the transition from traditional service delivery, using public employees, to privatized service delivery, using private sector entrepreneurs. Administrators and employees were interviewed, concentrating on those who were employed prior to, during, and subsequent to privatization. Documentation including minutes of meetings, contracts, articles of incorporation, and by-laws were obtained to support the data from the interviews. Based on the similarities and differences in process among the cities, the following three conclusions were reached: a) the process of privatization is more successful when motivated by compelling economic rationale rather than political philosophy, b) the process of privatization is more successful when the issue of continued employment of public employees is dealt with contractually, and c) the length of time and openness of the process have little impact of the success of the process.
Keywords: privatization, contracting, golf, facilities

Return to LARNet Home Page