Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Assessing the Temporal Stability of Hunting Participation and the Structure and Intensity of Constraints: A Panel Study

Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Assessing the Temporal Stability of Hunting Participation and the Structure and Intensity of Constraints: A Panel Study

Article excerpt


Perceived Constraints to Participation

Leisure constraints are "factors that inhibit people's ability to participate in leisure activities, to spend more time doing so, to take advantage of leisure services or to achieve a desired level of satisfaction" (Jackson, 1988, p. 203), and the evolution of this line of research is well documented (Crawford, Jackson, & Godbey, 1991; Godbey, 1985; Goodale & Witt, 1989; Jackson, 1988; Jackson & Scott, 1999; McGuire, O'Leary, Yeh, & Dottavio, 1989; Samdahl & Jekubovich, 1997; Searle & Jackson, 1985). Efforts have been primarily directed at empirically identifying and analyzing constraints to leisure engagement and goal attainment. Specifically, researchers have identified barriers (Buchanan & Allen, 1985; Jackson & Searle, 1985), examined the effect of these barriers on leisure preferences and patterns over time (Jackson, 1990; Jackson & Witt, 1994) and across activity domains (McCarville & Smale, 1993), and analyzed the effect of these barriers on leisure choices and experiences of different populations (Alexandris & Carroll, 1997a, 1997b; Hawkins, Peng, Hsieh, & Eklund, 1999; Henderson, Stalnaker, & Taylor, 1988; Henderson, Bedini, Hecht, & Schuler, 1993; Hultsman, 1992;Jackson, 1993; Jackson & Henderson, 1995; McGuire, Dottavio, & O'Leary, 1986; Shaw, 1994; Sparrow, Shinkfield, & Karnilowicz, 1993).

Theoretical models also have been constructed to aid in conceptualizing the perceived constraint construct and, as a method for linking cognition and behavior, explaining variations in participation and non-participation (Jackson & Dunn, 1991; Wright & Goodale, 1991). Many of these efforts have involved classifying individuals according to their participation in a particular activity, and then looking for significant differences between these groups based on perceptions of the applicability of a series of constraints (Goodale & Witt, 1989; Wright & Goodale, 1991). Alexandria and Carroll (1997a, 1997b), in a study of constraint dimensions and their relationship to recreational sport participation, found that non-participants were significantly more constrained than participants. Specifically, highly active individuals perceived different constraints to participation than moderately and lesser active individuals. It is not surprising that both participants and nonparticipants reported a wide range of constraints, as actual participation in any activity has the potential to expose individuals to constraints. Sparrow, Shinkfield, and Karnilowicz (1993) took the position that participation in any leisure or recreation activity is inevitably constrained by factors that serve to limit both the nature and frequency of participation.

An implicit assumption in the early constraints literature was the inverse relationship between constraints and participation (i.e., perceived constraints led to either non-participation or a reduction in participation). One major problem with this approach is that the complete absence of constraints does not necessarily lead to participation; rather, constraints may mediate the degree to which individuals feel they can participate in leisure activities. For example, constraints are thought to influence leisure preferences in addition to intervening between preferences and actual participation. Tsai (2000) found that constraints indirectly hindered respondents' engagement in regular active recreation by imposing a moderate inhibiting influence on respondents' interests in participation.

Several other studies have challenged the assumption that reported constraints and antecedents to participation always prevent or inhibit the frequency of participation. Kay and Jackson (1991) and Shaw, Bonen and McCabe (1991) noted that an individual's belief that an activity is significant might compensate for encountered constraints. Individuals may exert effort to overcome such constraints, and subsequently succeed in maintaining their desired level of participation. …

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