Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Forestry and Outdoor Recreation

Committee Chair(s)

Richard M. Schreyer


Richard M. Schreyer


Kent Downing


Mike Toney


This study assesses the usefulness of lifestyle as a determinant of outdoor recreation behavior. Two objectives of the study are: (1) develop an operationalized concept of lifestyle that is based on theory, and (2) apply this concept in a model which uses lifestyle as a variable influencing recreation behavior.

The first objective was approached through an integrative review of the literature. Lifestyle was set in context of cultural theory. The basic postulate of the proposed theory of lifestyle is: If an individual's lifestyle is similar to that of another, certain social psychological processes are similar. Therefore, their patterns of needs, motivations, and expectations are similar. Individual's value profiles were proposed as an approach to measuring lifestyle. A model was then proposed to test this.

Two hundred and forty-three dispersed road recreationists were interviewed at three National Forest study areas. Of these 157 responded to a follow-up mail survey. Recreation behavior measures (primary activities and experience expectations) were gathered on site. Lifestyle data was gathered in the mail survey.

The results indicate that lifestyle groups may be identified among dispersed road recreationists. However, tests of the model found no relationships between lifestyle group and primary activity, and few relationships between lifestyle group and experience expectations. Some problems with the methods, due to the exploratory nature of the study, are suggested as explanations for failure of the model. An analysis of the individual value dimensions, as an alternative to value profiles, suggests possible support for values as determinants of experience expectations.