Demographic Differences within Race/Ethnicity Group Constraints to Outdoor Recreation Participation


  • Tinelle D. Bustam
  • Brijesh Thapa
  • Natalia Buta


Constraints, race, ethnicity, outdoor recreation, land management


The North American population is changing, reflecting a population dominated by globally diverse cultures. This demographic change is revealing implications for protected area managers in provision of visitor services. This has prompted natural resource agencies to study racial/ethnic groups and their respective recreation behaviors. While past research provides evidence for differences between diverse racial/ethnic groups in leisure constraints based on demographic variables, a dearth of research exists that examines differences within racial/ethnic groups. This paper provides insight on the intraracial/ethnic group differences in constraints to outdoor recreation based on demographic variables, specifically gender, age, education, income, and residence. Methods included a statewide survey of Florida residents, aged 18 or older. Stratified random sampling procedures and random digit dialing were utilized to obtain a total of 3,610 telephone surveys. Data were analyzed using SPSS 17.0. Specifically, constraints were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis with reliability scaling and racial/ethnic group differences on demographic variables were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance. Significant constraint differences existed within racial/ethnic groups. For instance, Caucasians revealed differences in perceived constraints along gender, age, education, income, and residence variables. Hispanics showed differences across age and income. African Americans portrayed differences across income, while Native Americans showed differences across gender, age, and income. Public land managers might use these findings to identify target markets and the corresponding constraint, and then provide solutions for mitigation. For example, for intrapersonal constraints, managers might consider offering technical skill training programs, diversifying recreation services, and partnering with community recreation departments. For interpersonal constraints, managers might offer services for community-sponsored clubs and diversify services. Last, for structural constraints, managers might partner with local outfitters and raise awareness of park convenience and locations with different levels of visitor use, programs, and services.





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