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The relationship between motivation, place attachment, attitude-behaviour, and satisfaction of outdoor recreation participants: integrating psychological theories to improve recreation management

Jumaat, N. J. B. (2019) The relationship between motivation, place attachment, attitude-behaviour, and satisfaction of outdoor recreation participants: integrating psychological theories to improve recreation management. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Outdoor recreation is a voluntary activity that involves interaction between people and the natural environment. The potential benefits of this type of activity have led to increasing numbers of visitors to the countryside. Therefore, understanding the recreational users’ perspectives (motivation, place attachment, attitude-behaviour, and satisfaction) during outdoor recreation participation could be useful for the forest management plan. Furthermore, a key motivation for this research is the relative lack of empirical studies and published research articles in the field of outdoor recreation in the United Kingdom. This study aims to evaluate four important aspects of the outdoor recreational experience (motivation, place attachment, attitude-behaviour, and satisfaction) of the visitor during their participation in outdoor recreation activities. An Outdoor Recreation Experience Model was proposed to examine the relationship between the main recreational users’ perspectives. It integrates two theories that have been adapted from psychology studies; these are the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and the General Theory of Motivation. Furthermore, this study also attempts to evaluate the efficacy of the model in recreation management. The research was conducted at Haldon Forest Park (Exeter) and Alice Holt Forest (Surrey). It employed an explanatory sequential mixed methods design. A survey-based questionnaire was distributed in the data collection period, which was between September and March 2017, followed by a Participatory Research Day, which involved a focus group and photo-elicitation activity at Alice Holt Forest in April 2017 at the second stage of the period. Descriptive analysis, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) have been used to analyse quantitative data, while content analysis was mainly employed to explore the qualitative data. The quantitative findings show that there were significant differences between the user groups concerning a few items in recreation motivation, place attachment, and visitor satisfaction. Family togetherness and enjoying nature were found to be the most important vi motivations for the visitors, while there was a generally neutral attachment between the visitors and the forest park. However, there was no significant difference between the user groups for the recreational behaviour. The qualitative study provided additional data about the visitors’ experience and opinions on environmental and social issues that are useful to support the findings from the quantitative study. However, some of the findings from the focus group were not in line with the quantitative findings, such as the attachment of some of the participants was very strong, especially for those who grew up within walking distance of the Alice Holt Forest. These findings are beneficial in providing information on understanding the visitors to the forest park according to their primary activity. Furthermore, the recreation experience variables in the survey were used to develop The Outdoor Recreation Experience Model. Using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM), the proposed model was tested to examine the relationship between them. The fitness indices results show that the structural model can be accepted, but some of the values indicated the potential for improvement. From the assessment of the structural model, 15 hypotheses were accepted, two were partially accepted, and three were rejected. Thus, it is suggested that the proposed model can be used to test different samples to evaluate their outdoor recreation experience of other places. The implication of this research is to generate original empirical data that provides a better understanding of outdoor recreational experience and people’s relationship with natural environments, which benefits the park managers and the academics who study human-place topics.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Geoghegan, H.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:88657
Date on Title Page:2018

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