Research Update: Recreation across Ethnicity

By Bell, Christina M.; Hurd, Amy R. | Parks & Recreation, October 2006 | Go to article overview

Research Update: Recreation across Ethnicity

Bell, Christina M., Hurd, Amy R., Parks & Recreation

People of different races often seek contrasting recreation opportunities.

By the year 2020, the population of the United States is projected to increase from 284 million to 325 million. Along with the increase is a restructuring of race proportions. The Caucasian population is expected to decrease from 76 percent to 50 percent, while the African-American population will increase from 12 percent to 15 percent, and Hispanics will rise from nine percent of the population to 21 percent (Cordell, Betz & Green, 2002).

In anticipation of this change, leisure professionals will need to consider demographic-driven programming factors when deciding what leisure activities to provide in their communities. In order to address these changing demographics, leisure service providers should have an understanding of past research dealing with minority group leisure participation and the constraints to participation by these groups.

From this, several strategies for future program implementation can be developed. Although there are several perspectives on how to delineate minority groups, this article will focus on the two largest minority groups-African Americans and Hispanics. Greater emphasis can be placed on African Americans simply because more research has been done in this area.

Despite its importance, many leisure researchers have ignored race as a factor when examining leisure behavior (Philipp, 2000). However, just like other aspects of people's lives, ethnicity has a significant impact on leisure including activity choices, frequency, location, types of activities, and how an individual participates.

Thus, it is now even more important for leisure professionals to provide diverse programming that will get all members of the community involved (Patterson, 2003). In order to do this, it is important to have an understanding of preferred activities and perceptions of park spaces by the groups of interest.

Several studies have examined the differences in leisure activities and patterns among racial groups. Philipp (1998) argued that the leisure preferences of adults are strongly influenced by leisure experiences they had in the youth and adolescent years. Yet race is an under-represented variable in the majority of adolescent leisure research. Because of this, he studied high school students and the impact of race and gender on adolescent peer group approval of activities.

Results from his research indicated that African Americans felt their peer group was more likely to approve of them playing basketball, going to the mall, singing in a choir and dancing, while Caucasian adolescents felt their peer groups would approve of playing soccer, horseback riding, water skiing, camping, fishing and golf. Both groups had similar ratings for watching television, bowling and reading.

Cordell, Betz, and Green (2002) examined outdoor recreation behaviors and attitudes based on socio-demographic variables. They identified the 10 most popular activities including hiking, motor boating and outdoor team sports among individuals. The results from this study showed that walking was popular among all races and Caucasians favored motor boating, Hispanics favored hiking and African Americans favored outdoor team sports.

Payne, Mowen, & Orsega-Smith (2002) looked at uses of and the need for urban park land. They found that African Americans preferred open spaces that serve a recreation function, such as sporting-related facilities (e.g., baseball fields and paved trails). On the other hand, Caucasians tended to view park space for land and wildlife conservation and preferred more nature-based activities. Floyd and Shinew (1999) studied interracial contact and leisure preferences. They found that Caucasians preferred to participate in activities such as gardening, hiking, swimming and camping, while African Americans preferred activities such as shopping and church functions.

There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of sports, listening to music and having picnics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Research Update: Recreation across Ethnicity


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.