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The Programming Process Revisited: Assumptions Underlying the Needs Based Models

Christine Z. Howe, Yijin Qui


Contemporary literature in the field appears to advocate a needs-based approach to recreation programming through several recursive models. These needs-based, cyclical models typically have the following elements in common: an initial leisure needs assessment on which a program plan is based, implementation of the program, a formative and summative evaluation of the program, and the revision of the program. This type of approach is comprehensive and continuous.

This article concerns the needs assessment component of the needs-based approach to leisure programming by examining the assumptions that underlie it. The purpose of the article is to analyze the needs-based approach to programming by making the underlying assumptions of its first step explicit and then by examining the assumptions in light of theory and professional practice. Findings suggest that a needs-based programming approach is grounded in psychological assumptions that are highly compatible with implementing leisure as a state of mind or being.


Leisure programming, psychology of leisure, needs assessment, needs.

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