Responses to Conflict in Urbanproximate Areas


  • Ingrid E. Schneider


recreation conflict, emotion- and problem-focused coping, recreation-opportunity spectrum


Recreation-conflict research typically focuses on visitor conflict perception in remote areas. Thus, conflict and response to conflict in the urban-recreation opportunity spectrum is ignored. Identifying and comparing the range of visitor responses to conflict within differing areas prepares managers for the consequences of conflict and provides insight regarding responses to conflict across environments. This research  investigated visitor responses to on-site outdoor-recreation conflict at two urban-proximate recreation areas in the southwestern United States. Consistent with past research, visitors used a wide repertoire of coping responses to conflict; most frequently distancing responses. Responses to conflict were similar between urban-proximate recreation area visitors: visitors differed significantly in their use of only four of the ten coping response strategies. From this initial comparison, managers can begin to expect and plan for certain responses to conflict. The key is to understand at what point distancing responses turn to displacement or confrontive coping. Therefore, managers may be advised to inquire where recreationists most frequently recreate or monitor changes in trailhead or entrance use to record actual displacement or substitution occurrence. Obviously prevention is essential and therefore minimizing conflict's source and intensification is a primary management objective. As litter was a primary source of conflict, area maintenance is essential as well as reminding visitors to leave no trace. Inconsiderate others were also a primary source of conflict. Thus, effectively communicated etiquette and preferred-behavior information should continue to be a dominant source of information and management implementation. Management efforts might also focus on enhancing a mutual understanding of other users, to diminish conflict occurrence and minimize negative responses.





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