Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Cross-Language Measurement Equivalence of the Place Attachment Scale: A Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis Approach

Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Cross-Language Measurement Equivalence of the Place Attachment Scale: A Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis Approach

Article excerpt

Introduction

A growing and important emphasis area within leisure research is the inclusion of racially and ethnically diverse populations in investigations regarding outdoor recreation and natural resource management. One of the reasons for this has been the progressively diverse nature of the U.S. population. For example, the most recent census indicates that Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic minority group in the U.S., and that Spanish speakers constitute a ratio of about 1 in 10 U.S. household residents (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). Additionally, immigrants and refugees, some of whom have limited English proficiency, continue to add to the U.S. population (Garcia-Preto, 1996). Combine this with the over 1 million people each who speak Chinese, French, German or Tagalog at home (U.S. Census Bureau, 2000) and what results is a sizable proportion of people whose primary language of communication is a language other than English. This increasing diversity is considered to be "one of the most powerful demographic forces shaping U.S. and Canadian society" (Gramman & Allison, 1999, p. 283). Beyond the diversification of the U.S. population, an increasingly globalized world has resulted in rising international travel. For example, World Tourism Organization (2000) projections indicate that international tourist arrivals will hit 1 billion by 2010 and 1.56 billion by 2020. A growing awareness of other cultures resulting from increasing diversity or travel requires that leisure professionals better understand leisure behavior and preferences of heterogenous groups. For example, federal land managers are increasingly required to include viewpoints of ethnically diverse constituents in their decision-making processes (Baas, 1993). While some progress has been made in this regard, cross-cultural leisure research has been criticized for being inward looking (Shaw, 2000; Valentine, Allison & Schneider, 1999) and still faces some fundamental challenges. Among these challenges are that such studies are either rare, inappropriate or lack adequate methodologies (Dimanche, 1994). For instance, in a review of studies published in three leading leisure science journals, fewer than 2% of the articles were cross-national in nature, leading Valentine et al. (1999) to call for more of an international perspective in leisure sciences. Additionally, recognizing the gap in cross-cultural methodologies, leisure scholars have been urged to develop stronger theoretical frameworks and improved, culturally sensitive and inclusive methodological approaches (Floyd, 1998; McAvoy, Winter, Outley, McDonald, & Chavez, 2000). One approach toward this has been to offer translated versions of English language questionnaires (e.g. Chavez, Larson & Winter, 1995; Heywood, 1993). While translated materials encourage participation of non-English speakers, a set of items used to measure a construct in English might not accurately assess the underlying construct in a different language or culture (Knight, Roosa, & Umana-Taylor, 2008). In other words, crosslanguage differences in scale means might be due to systematic biases in the way non-English speakers respond to certain items or differences between languages. Given the potential for measurement bias to produce variance in a set of scores that is not a function of the construct under investigation but rather may be attributed to language differences, construct equivalence seems difficult to achieve, yet essential, if researchers intend to perform cross-language or cross-cultural comparisons (Steenkamp & Baumgartner, 1998). Such studies, though prevalent in psychology, cultural anthropology, public health and marketing fields are lacking in leisure and recreation.

The place attachment scale developed by Williams and Roggenbuck (1989) has been used extensively to examine the non-economic value of natural places and inform natural resource management decisions (Daigle, Hannon, & Stacey, 2003; Kyle, Graefe, Manning & Bacon, 2004; Warzecha & Lime, 2001). …

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