Intercultural Communication Competence and Conflict Negotiation Strategies: Perceptions of Park Staff and Diverse Park Users


  • Carla Almeida Santos
  • Samantha Rozier


Latino, African American, intercultural communication competence, conflict negotiation strategies, public recreation spaces.


A culturally and ethnically diverse U.S. population not only reflects changing park and recreation demographics, but also reflects changing interpersonal communication issues; particularly, intercultural communicative behaviors within public recreation spaces. To better understand such issues and behaviors, this exploratory study tested significant relationships between park and recreation practitioners and Latino and African American park users’ perceptions of intercultural communication competence and conflict negotiation strategies. Overall, findings indicated that park staff was shown to perceive Latino park users as possessing less intercultural communication competence than Latino park users were shown to perceive of themselves; conversely, park staff was shown to perceive African American park users as possessing more intercultural communication competence than African American park users were shown to perceive of themselves. In addition,  intercultural conflict negotiation strategy differences were found to exist between park staff’s perceptions of Latino and African American park users, and the park users’ perceptions of themselves. Such findings call attention to the notion that park and recreation practitioners can not underestimate the influence that one’s racial and ethnic background has on interpersonal communication behaviors. Recommendations for park and recreation practitioners are discussed.





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