Research in Recreation, Parks, Sport, and Tourism, Second Edition

By Riddick, Carol Cutler; V Russell, Ruth | Journal of Leisure Research, First Quarter 2011 | Go to article overview

Research in Recreation, Parks, Sport, and Tourism, Second Edition


Riddick, Carol Cutler, V Russell, Ruth, Journal of Leisure Research


BOOK REVIEW Research in Recreation, Parks, Sport, and Tourism, Second Edition Carol Cutler Riddick and Ruth V. Russell Sagamore Publishing, Champaign, Illinois

The second edition of Research in Recreation, Parks, Sport, and Tourism is well suited as a college textbook for the undergraduate preparation of students pursuing a professional career in recreation, parks and leisure services. This new edition further speaks to students interested in the occupational areas of sport and tourism as many applications and exercises in the text are related to recreational sports and travel activities.

Considerable revisions have been made since the printing of the first edition, Evaluative Research in Recreation, Park, and Sport Settings: Searching for Useful Information. The content revisions in the text include an overview of basic and evaluative research, information regarding the development of a research topic, and the identification of theoretical underpinnings for conducting either a quantitative or a qualitative approach to research.

Revisions further include information associated with writing the significance of the study, considerations when choosing a measure, and determining an instrument's validity and reliability. Rounding out the changes in the second edition is the presentation of both reactive and non-reactive measures, seeking approval of the research proposal, discussing the need for a pilot test, preparing for data collection, and presenting the research results by using visual aids.

The textbook is appropriate for use in a recreation and leisure discipline-specific research and evaluation course taught by a faculty member within the academic department.

The target audience for this book is both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate students can discover the significance of conducting research and evaluation as they read the text. Practical solutions that address complex questions about research and evaluation practices and methods are strengths of the text. Advanced degree students would utilize the textbook materials as they prepare a proposal for independent study or as they develop a thesis prospectus. This second edition has a great deal of useful value for practitioners holding a full-time staff position with an agency that delivers leisure services. The topics presented in the text would assist the agency worker in efficiently locating information most relative to their agency-based research and evaluation needs.

This book is a comprehensive collection of steps to follow in the planning and development of a research study. The text was written for a beginning researcher, researchers needing a refresher on certain topics within the research process, and persons who have had little or no prior involvement in a systematic approach to conducting a research study. An experienced researcher and evaluator could view the text as merely a compilation of research and evaluation information void of concentrated discussions on theoretical research topics. Some might consider this a weakness of the text. But, it is what it is, a broad and comprehensive progression of the steps in the research process. For the experienced researcher, Appendices 2 and 3 provide theory-based references for both the quantitative and qualitative approaches to research.

This textbook is not necessarily the new kid on the block. There have been several textbooks that have focused on the evaluation of recreation and park services and the development and implementation of a research study. The understanding, appreciation, and implementation of recreation and park evaluations were initially presented in a textbook written by William F. Theobald, Evaluation of Recreation and Park Programs (1979).

Research has become an academic subject that many departments in recreation, parks and leisure services prefer to teach in-house and use discipline-specific research applications. In years past, the preponderance of students in recreation and park curricula were once advised to enroll in a non-discipline research methods course to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting responsible research. …

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