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Benefits of Campus Outdoor Recreation Programs: A Review of the Literature



Campus outdoor recreation programs and facilities have faced a number of public attacks questioning their value for students. Climbing walls in particular have become, to some, emblematic of waste and financial excess in higher education. Despite these claims, this literature review uncovers numerous benefits for participants and schools provided by campus outdoor recreation specifically and campus recreation more generally. For colleges and universities, these benefits include positive effects on student recruitment, retention, and satisfaction and the opportunity for recreation programs to support academic programs directly. For students, benefits include increased academic success, smoother transitions to college, better mental and physical health, lower levels of stress and anxiety, better and more numerous social connections, better intra- and interpersonal skills, increased environmental sensitivity, and better connectedness to nature and to place.
Benefits of Campus Outdoor Recreation
Programs: A Review of the Literature
Elizabeth K. Andre
Northland College
Nathan Williams
North Carolina State University
Forrest Schwartz
Pennsylvania State University
Chris Bullard
Portland State University
Campus outdoor recreation programs and facilities have faced a number of public attacks ques-
tioning their value for students. Climbing walls in particular have become, to some, emblematic
of waste and nancial excess in higher education. Despite these claims, this literature review un-
covers numerous benets for participants and schools provided by campus outdoor recreation
specically and campus recreation more generally. For colleges and universities, these benets
include positive eects on student recruitment, retention, and satisfaction and the opportunity
for recreation programs to support academic programs directly. For students, benets include
increased academic success, smoother transitions to college, better mental and physical health,
lower levels of stress and anxiety, better and more numerous social connections, better intra- and
interpersonal skills, increased environmental sensitivity, and better connectedness to nature and
to place.
KEYWORDS: campus outdoor recreation; campus recreation; outdoor recreation;
outdoor education; higher education; adventure education
Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership 2017, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 15–25
Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership
Politicians, news media, and books have been saturated with criticisms of perceived exces-
sive spending on college and university amenities (Arum & Roksa, 2011; Blumenstyk, 2012;
Brandon, 2010; Friel, 2003; Hacker & Dreifus, 2010; Martin, 2012; Schuman, 2013; Scott, 2012;
U.S. Department of Education, 2006; Woodhouse, 2015). ese critics have oen singled out
specic campus resources, such as college climbing walls or other campus outdoor recreation
programs (Brandon, 2010; Martin, 2012). Perhaps the peak of this trend was when one politician
commented, “What the hell do you need a rock climbing wall for? Tell the kids at [University of
New Hampshire], ‘Go outside and climb those rocks.” (Casimiro, 2015, para. 3). Despite these
vocal critiques, this paper will demonstrate that campus outdoor recreation oers numerous
benets, not only for student participants, but also for colleges and universities as organizations.
Before investigating outcomes of these programs, we will dene the scope of campus out-
door recreation as any outdoor recreation activities sponsored by a college, university, or associ-
ated auxiliary unit. is includes academic or nonacademic programs and includes recreational
activities that approximate outdoor settings (e.g., climbing walls or kayaking in pools) but do not
take place in the outdoors. ese types of programs may be housed organizationally within cam-
pus recreation departments, but may also be associated with student organizations, residential
communities, or student leadership programs (Speelman & Wagsta, 2015).
Because of the oen intertwined nature of campus outdoor recreation and campus rec-
reation departments, it is important to mention briey the history and context of campus rec-
reation departments. e rst campus recreation departments were formed at the beginning
of the 20th century and oen included aquatics programs, intramural programs, sport clubs,
tness, camps, adaptive programming, and personal training, in addition to outdoor recreation
(McFadden & Stenta, 2015). e availability of campus recreation is an important factor for
students in choosing which school to attend and in deciding whether, once enrolled, they will
remain enrolled (Haines, 2001). Nationally, students rate campus recreation programs as equally
important to their satisfaction and success as housing, food options, and internship opportu-
nities (National Intramural–Recreational Sports Association, 2004). Providing “extraordinary
experiences,” such as those associated with outdoor adventure, can provide organizations, in-
cluding universities, a competitive advantage in the marketplace (Jeeries & Lepp, 2012, p. 37).
Because of the diverse nature of these departments and programs, it is dicult to make
generalizations about them. is paper casts a wide net and includes some studies that are gen-
eral to campus recreation as a whole and notes instances for which more research is needed into
campus outdoor recreation specically. For this broad approach, in this paper we will answer
the research question, what are the potential benets of campus outdoor recreation programs?
ese benets extend beyond student recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. Campus outdoor
recreation programs also provide students with benets in the realms of mental and physical
health and wellness, prosocial connection and interpersonal skills, pro-environmental attitudes,
academic success, employment opportunities, and other transferable skills.
In response to these public attacks questioning the value of campus outdoor recreation
programs and facilities, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) formed a
working group, the Campus Outdoor Recreation Assessment and Accountability (CORAA) task
force. is task force was charged with developing eective assessment and advocacy tools to
support its member programs. e rst step in this process was to query AORE members (who
are largely professional sta and students of college and university outdoor recreation programs)
to ascertain what types of support the AORE could provide for them as they advocate for their
programs. rough an online survey, members requested a literature review summarizing the
benets of campus outdoor recreation, for individual participants and for colleges, universities,
and associated auxiliary departments that house these programs.
Based on a search of the literature using search terms such as campus outdoor recreation
outcomes, the CORAA working group identied four categories of outdoor recreation benets
relevant to higher education: academic, health and wellness, transferable skills, and environ-
mental awareness. e working group then searched for articles using associated search terms in
aggregate academic search engines, including Ebsco, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. is
resulted in 161 articles to be reviewed. Aer the working group read these articles, the category
of prosocial connection and interpersonal skills was added, in addition to expanding the aca-
demic category to include employment and transferable skills.
is investigation yielded a number of research studies that were tangentially related to
campus outdoor recreation, but few which addressed campus outdoor recreation specically.
Health and Wellness Outcomes
Transitioning to and navigating through college can be a stressful time for students.
Balancing classes, work, social, and family responsibilities pulls students in many directions.
Recreation, especially when it takes place outdoors, can reduce that stress (Clark & Anderson,
2011; Kanters, Bristol, & Attarian, 2002; Mann & Leahy, 2010). Recreation experiences in wild
and natural areas provide participants with health benets that are distinct from those experi-
enced through recreation in built environments. For example, exercising in natural areas im-
proves psychological well-being by enhancing mood and self-esteem and by reducing feelings
of anger, confusion, anxiety, depression, arousal, stress, and tension to a degree that is signi-
cantly greater than what would accrue from the same amount of exercise in a built environment
(Aspinall, Mavros, Coyne, & Roe, 2013; Barton, Hine, & Pretty, 2009, as cited in Louv, 2011,
p. 59; Bodin & Hartig, 2003).
Participants in outdoor experiential programs have reported personal calming and soli-
tude (Hlansy, 2000) and increased self-esteem (Barton, Bragg, Pretty, Roberts, & Wood, 2016).
Participants in college outdoor orientation programs have demonstrated increased emotional
autonomy and purpose (Vlamis, Bell, & Gass, 2011), and students in an extended outdoor ad-
venture education degree curriculum have shown increased hardiness, a psychological construct
that describes the ability to turn stressful events into growth-inducing, rather than debilitating,
experiences (Sheard & Golby, 2006). Female participants in outdoor adventure programming
have also shown increased resiliency, which appears to persist over time (Beightol, Jevertson,
Carter, Gray, & Gass, 2012; Overholt & Ewert, 2015; Whittington, Aspelmeier, & Budbill, 2016).
In addition to the mental health benets, numerous physical benets come from par-
ticipation in physically active recreational activities. Regular physical activity helps control
weight; reduces the risk of numerous diseases; and strengthens bones, muscles, and joints
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). Involvement in recreational sports dur-
ing college is a signicant predictor of the importance students place on tness activities aer
graduation (Forrester, Arterberry, & Barcelona, 2006).
Prosocial Connection and Interpersonal Skills
Outdoor recreation has been shown to have a positive eect on participants’ levels of social
support (Clark & Anderson, 2011; Kanters et al., 2002; Mann & Leahy, 2010). Involved students
have more friends, more people on campus with whom they would feel comfortable sharing an
emotional secret (Austin, Martin, Mittelstaedt, Schanning, & Ogle, 2009), and reduced levels
of social anxiety (Ozen, 2015). Participants in campus-organized outdoor trips experienced an
increased sense of community, and trip alumni reported maintaining lifelong friendships with
participants in their university outdoor trips (Breuning, O’Connell, Todd, Anderson, & Young,
Outdoor orientation programs, wilderness trips that students engage in before they start fall
classes, provide an intense experience that encourages students to bond and create supportive re-
Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership
lationships (Austin et al., 2009; Bell, 2006, 2012; Bell, Gass, Nafziger, & Starbuck, 2014; Frauman
& Waryold, 2009; Howard, O’Connell, & Lathrop, 2016; Wolfe & Kay, 2011). Participants also
feel more committed to their university and experience a smoother transition to university life
(Howard et al., 2016; Lien & Goldenberg, 2012; Wolfe & Kay, 2011). ese experiences result
in not only higher levels of social engagement, but also more reection and a higher sense of
life purpose (Bailey & Kang, 2015). In a longitudinal study, Gass, Garvey, and Sugerman (2003)
reported that 17 years aer an outdoor orientation trip, students continued to feel the positive
eects of this experience.
Recreation experiences oen have benets for specic subgroups within the university. For
example, when college student organizations participate in challenge course experiences, the
members experience gains in group eectiveness, group cohesion, and personal eectiveness
within the group (Hatch & McCarthy, 2005). Outdoor adventure–based orientation trips have
been shown to help university athletic teams replace a culture of hazing ceremonies for induc-
tion of rst year athletes with a more cooperative, egalitarian, and inclusive model that contrib-
utes to long-lasting improvements in team cohesion and functioning (Johnson & Chin, 2016).
All-female trips oen help participants feel more comfortable sharing ideas, feel more empow-
ered to make decisions and take action, and have an increased perception of their capabilities
and power (Mitten, 1992). Experiences developed with and for Indigenous youth may yield an
increased sense of connection with creation and with self (Ritchie et al., 2015).
Campus outdoor recreation programs may also be an avenue for universities to explore
more transformational visions of nondiscrimination and inclusion. Recreation programs have
expertise in adaptive recreation, universal design, and facilitating inclusive groups. ey can
be models for further challenging the “hegemonic discourses that have been used to justify in-
equality and oppression along the axes of race, class, gender, and sexuality” (Promis, Erevelles,
& Matthews, 2001, p. 49). One example is the DIVE (Diversity and Inclusion adVenture
Experience) program at North Carolina State University in which students, within the format
of a 9-day sea kayaking expedition, discuss issues of social justice on campus and in the broader
societal context (NC State University, University Recreation, n.d.).
Environmental Outcomes
Schools with campus outdoor recreation programs that include outdoor trips in wild or
natural areas can support schools’ environmentally focused goals. Many colleges and univer-
sities are incorporating environmental aspects into their missions and intended learning out-
comes, but are having diculty achieving these environmental goals. It is dicult to design a
solely classroom-based curriculum that produces students who engage in pro-environmental
behaviors because, although classroom-based education tends to focus on cognitive outcomes,
responsible environmental behavior is highly correlated with students’ aective and emotional
connections to the natural world. Pro-environmental behavior has been shown to correlate with
a person’s feelings of connectedness to nature (Mayer & Frantz, 2004), level of environmental
sensitivity (Hungerford & Volk, 1990), emotional anity toward nature (Hinds & Sparks, 2008;
Kals, Schumacher, & Montada, 1999), and place identity (Vaske & Kobrin, 2001).
ese aective outcomes are most eectively developed through direct contact with and ex-
periences in the natural world rather than in a classroom (Chawla, 1999; Eisenhauer, Krannich,
& Blahna, 2000; Kals et al., 1999; Palmer, 1993; Sivek, 2002). It is no surprise then that participa-
tion in outdoor recreation activities is positively associated with pro-environmental behaviors
(eodori, Lulo, & Willits, 1998), especially when the outdoor recreation activity is nonmotor-
ized and appreciative of the outdoor environment (Teisl & O’Brien, 2003; apa & Graefe, 2003).
Because society is experiencing a “fundamental and pervasive” shi away from nature-based
recreation (Pergams & Zaradic, 2008), it cannot be assumed that university students will develop
these aective environmental connections on their own.
Campus outdoor recreation programs, especially those that include both extended outdoor
trips in wild or natural areas and frequent opportunities for exposure to nature, provide op-
portunities for participants to develop the aective outcomes needed to complement the cogni-
tive outcomes of the school’s formal environmental curriculum. Research shows that both fre-
quent and extended outdoor experiences have led to increased feelings of anity toward nature
(Kals et al., 1999) and that outdoor and environmental education experiences of a sucient
length inuence participants’ feelings toward the environment (Rickinson, 2001; Zelezny, 1999)
and connectedness to nature (Barton et al., 2016). University outdoor orientation trips specif-
ically have been shown to increase place identity (Austin et al., 2009), which correlates with
pro-environmental behavior.
Academic and Employment Outcomes
Participation in campus recreation helps students relieve academic stress (Kanters et al.,
2002; Ragheb & McKinney, 1993) and correlates strongly with academic success and student
retention (Bailey & Kang, 2015; Gibbison, Henry, & Perkins-Brown, 2011; Haines, 2001).
Participation in recreation can positively aects students’ overall experience at a university
(Bobilya & Akey, 2002), and outdoor orientation programs can help students develop appropri-
ate educational plans (Vlamis et al., 2011).
Outdoor adventure education experiences improve students’ ability to work with others
in academic settings. Improvements can be seen in students’ perceived group-work skills, the
functioning of existing student work groups, attitudes and condence toward group work, and
the cooperative and social environment within higher education (Cooley, Burns, & Cumming,
2014). Outdoor adventure education experiences can also help participants shi their per-
ception toward viewing learning as fun and toward understanding that the best learning in-
volves initiative by the learner (Sibthorp et al., 2015). Students who participate in an outdoor
adventure–based rst year seminar course showed signicantly higher learning outcomes than
those who participated in an indoor classroom-based course. e adventure-based rst year
seminar led to higher scores by fostering trust among student participants, thereby leading to
more in-depth personal discussions about curricular topics (Bell & Holmes, 2011).
Campus outdoor programs can also work directly with academic programs to help them
meet their learning objectives. Adventure education components, such as high and low ropes
courses, when paired with university learning communities, increase students’ in-class learning
by developing a support network for academic learning and enhancing connections with other
students, faculty, and the university, as well as by promoting self-learning and helping students
develop transferable skills (Bobilya & Akey, 2002; Schimmel, Daniels, Wassif, & Jacobs, 2016).
A specic example of this type of collaboration is the wilderness adventure programs oered
to engineering students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Singapore
University of Technology and Design (SUTD). ese programs help introduce SUTD students to
the culture of MIT, help students develop leadership skills, and increase their understanding of
engineering science and design thinking (Saulnier, Ahn, Bagiati, & Brisson, 2015). In an example
of a longer duration program, Humboldt State University (n.d.) oers Klamath Connection. is
yearlong experience engages students with education focused on the Klamath River, including
periodic eld trips to the river and a multiday summer immersion trip.
Many campuses provide students the opportunity to take leadership roles within a campus
outdoor recreation program, including serving on steering committees, leading trips, and plan-
ning events. is leadership experience may make students more employable aer graduation.
Students who develop recreation skills may also nd careers aer graduation in the outdoor
recreation profession, which employs 6.1 million Americans (Outdoor Industry Association,
2012). Furthermore, graduates in recreation-related elds have employment levels that compete
favorably with graduates in other elds (Carnevale, Cheah, & Strohl, 2012).
Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership
Transferable Skills
In addition to the aforementioned benets of campus outdoor recreation programs,
the literature speaks to a category of participation benets referred to as “transferable skills.
Transferable skills can be thought of as skills learned during an outdoor experience that have
direct applicability in settings beyond the outdoor arena.
Life eectiveness has been dened as the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of
human functioning, which determine a persons ability or eectiveness in responding to life situ-
ations (Neill, Marsh, & Richards, 2003). Participants in outdoor recreation experiences, includ-
ing short 1-day challenge course experiences, have demonstrated signicant increases in life ef-
fectiveness scores. Moreover, many participants have experienced further gains over time in the
dimensions of time management, intellectual exibility, task leadership, emotional control, and
achievement motivation (Flood, Gardner, & Cooper, 2009; Frauman & Waryold, 2009; McLeod
& Allen-Craig, 2007).
With increased life eectiveness comes a stronger belief in oneself and one’s ability to com-
plete complex tasks. Paxton and McAvoy (1998) examined the eects of an outdoor adventure
program on participants’ self-ecacy and found gains immediately aer the experience and an
increase in all scales 6 months aer. Similarly, Garst, Scheider, and Baker (2001) found increases
in participant self-perception immediately aer and 4 months following an outdoor adven-
ture program. In a summary of meta-analyses of the eects of outdoor education experiences,
Neill and Richards (1998) found signicant and long-lasting eects on positive self-concept,
self-condence, and locus of control. Outdoor recreation participants are learning valuable life
skills and the eects are lasting.
Discussion and Limitations
e existing literature shows numerous benets from campus outdoor recreation pro-
grams, but there are weaknesses and gaps in the research. We started with a focus on campus
outdoor recreation, but soon realized there were not enough studies addressing campus outdoor
recreation specically. We, therefore, widened our search to include studies of campus recreation
programs more broadly dened. ere are numerous benets that are common to general cam-
pus recreation programs and outdoor recreation programs, but without more studies on campus
outdoor recreation programs specically, the benets of campus outdoor recreation programs
cannot be adequately established.
Furthermore, much of the research that exists on campus outdoor recreation programs
documents the existence of benets, but more needs to be done to document the extent of these
benets and to compare the degree of benet gained with those benets gained from other types
of campus programming. Providing quantication of these benets, especially as compared with
benets gained from other campus facilities and programs, will aid campus administrators in
deciding how to allocate resources.
Research areas of strategic importance to campus outdoor recreation programs and to the
outdoor profession more broadly have been identied by the AORE, through a process of poll-
ing its membership to determine what research would be most needed. ese research areas
include benets for student recruitment and retention, return on nancial investment, contri-
butions to student wellness and academic success, the role of outdoor programs in developing
pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors, outcomes related to leadership skills and judgment,
and the promotion of diversity and inclusion. Additional research is needed to examine these
questions as they relate to campus outdoor recreation programs broadly and to more specic
aspects of campus outdoor recreation programs, including climbing walls, challenge courses,
outdoor orientation programs, and recreation programming that supports academic courses
(AORE, 2015).
Althought is paper was focused on benets of campus outdoor recreation, we did not exam-
ine the alleged contribution of climbing walls and campus recreation facilities to rising tuition
costs. Clearly, however, anyone who wishes to counter the rhetoric that assigns the blame for ris-
ing tuition on campus recreation facilities will need to understand the factors driving increases
in tuition. We recommend starting with a report from the American Institutes for Research,
which concludes that “climbing walls are easy targets, maybe even fair game, but they aren’t
what’s behind the rising price of college” (Kirshstein & Kadamus, 2012, p. 4).
As public rhetoric continues to frame campus outdoor recreation programs and facilities
as symbolic of waste and excess in higher education, directors of campus outdoor recreation
programs will need to be able to communicate the value of their programs to school administra-
tion, political decision makers, the media, and their constituents. Research on nancial return
on investment will also help administrators decide how to prioritize resources. Existing research
documents the benets for the schools and for the participants. ese benets extend beyond the
typically cited improvements in recruitment, retention, physical tness, and social connection,
to include increased academic success, leadership and group skills, environmental connection,
employment opportunities, increased life eectiveness, and other transferable skills. Campus
outdoor recreation programs can also directly support academic programs in achieving learning
objectives, especially ones related to the environment and to diversity and inclusion.
Although the existing research establishes numerous benets of campus outdoor recre-
ation programming and facilities, more needs to be done to quantify the extent of the benets,
especially as they compare with the benets gained from other types of campus facilities and
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... A wealth of research also explores the beneficial integration of outdoor recreation and education within various HIPs, including but not limited to the experience from learning communities , undergraduate research (Ahl et al., 2020;Finn, 2017), and leadership development (Sandberg et al., 2017). The largest segment of research at the intersection of HIPs and outdoor recreation is focused on the first-year experience of outdoor orientation programs (OOPs) (e.g., Andre et al., 2017;Austin et al., 2010;Bailey & Kang, 2015;Howard et al., 2016;Pickard et al., 2020;Ribbe et al., 2016;Wolfe & Kay, 2011;). ...
... OOPs formally began over 80 years ago at Dartmouth College, and by 2019 there were over 212 OOPs at 17 percent of the colleges and universities in the United States (Bell, 2022). OOP research indicates these experiences increase student success through the development of transferable skills during hands-on outdoor experiences (Pickard et al., 2020;Andre et al., 2017), the creation of relationships and social support systems (Austin et al., 2010), and fostering commitment and positive attitudes towards the university (Howard et al., 2016;Wolfe & Kay, 2011). Yet, despite ever-growing literature demonstrating their important co-curricular role in student success, there is no mention of OOPs specifically within the HIP framework. ...
... Under this circumstances, in the core areas of first-tier cities such as Beijing, where land is tight, the main way public education spaces development with large areas especially university campuses has also shifted from new construction and reconstruction to renewal and upgrading (Guo W. et al., 2022;Yuanshuo, 2023). Among them, the renewal of public landscape space on campus as the main place for students' extracurricular activities, rest and socialization is closely related to the physical and mental health of college students, and the design of good natural landscape and cultural landscape has also been proved to enhance students' emotional attachment and satisfaction with the campus environment (Lau and Yang, 2009;Andre et al., 2017;Vella-Brodrick and Gilowska, 2022). During the outbreak of COVID-19 in the past 3 years, the campus landscape space has especially become an important psychological healing space and emotional anchor point for students whose life, recreation and learning activities are confined to the campus space (Biswas and Sen, 2020;Lai et al., 2020;Rousseau and Deschacht, 2020;Liu et al., 2022). ...
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In the era of stock renewal, the construction of university campuses in China’s first-tier cities has shifted from demolition and construction to renewal and upgrading, in which public landscape space is the main environment for students’ daily life, learning and entertainment. Especially during the outbreak of the recent COVID-19 epidemic, it has become an important way for students to interact with nature and obtain emotional healing. In the existing studies, there is a lack of discussion on the correlation between the spatial characteristics of the updated campus landscape and students’ emotional attachment, and there are few quantitative studies. Based on this, this paper takes the “Heart of Forest” landscape space as an example, and integrates multi-dimensional quantitative methods including emotional attachment scale and public semantic analysis to study and evaluate the characteristics of landscape space that affect students’ emotional attachment. The results show that: (1) Overall, the landscape space renewal of the Heart of Forest provides students with positive emotional experiences and effectively enhances students’ emotional attachment as well as sense of belonging to the campus. (2) Among them, the material characteristics of the site including nature-related elements, materials, structures play a positive role in promoting the vast majority of students in the process of establishing emotional attachment, which is particularly obvious for students majoring in landscape, architecture and urban planning. (3) Whether the public social space can effectively provide students with a good emotional experience is closely related to the frequency and purpose of students’ use of the space. (4) The interactive characteristics such as changeability and playability fail to promote emotional attachment because of lacking of management and maintenance. The renewal and transformation of the “Heart of Forest” landscape space is generally successful in promoting students’ emotional attachment, and provides a reference for the future campus landscape renewal design from different angles. In addition, the quantitative study of emotional attachment constructed in this paper coupled with multi-dimensional data provides a method for the evaluation of students’ emotional experience of campus landscape.
... Participating in outdoor recreational activities provides a good opportunity to enjoy physical activities while also having a positive psychological experience in nature (Brown, 2019). Researchers have been interested in positive psychological states such as perceived restorativeness that can be developed through interaction with nature (Andre et al., 2017). A previous study (Stack and Shultis, 2013) showed that park visitors in urban areas could reduce their stress and gain psychological benefits in natural spaces. ...
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Objectives Jeju Gotjawal Provincial Park provides visitors with opportunities for outdoor recreation and informs visitors of the environmental significance of the park’s ecosystem. This study attempted to examine how the perceived restorativeness of park visitors influenced their place attachment. In addition, the moderating effect of environmental sensitivity on the hypothesized relationship was explored. Methods Using the purposive sampling method, 408 surveys were collected at Jeju Gotjawal Provincial Park. The hypotheses were tested by confirmatory factor analysis, path analysis, and invariance tests using Lisrel 8.70. Results The results indicated that perceived restorativeness had a positive influence on place attachment (place identity and place dependence). Further, the hypothesized relationship was stronger for the visitors with higher environmental sensitivity, compared to those with weaker environmental sensitivity. Conclusion Park managers should consider ways to increase the perceived restorativeness of visitors as they experience the natural environment at the park. Also, since environmental sensitivity played an important role in shaping the perceived restorativeness–place attachment relationship, there is a need for educational programs that can inform visitors of the significance of the natural environment to increase their affection for nature.
... iversity campuses from a planning point of view, such as the quality of campus morphology (Hajrasouliha, A. H. (2017) 1 , rather than on the spaces between buildings in which students spend most of their time, despite the vital role that outdoor spaces play in student wellbeing. Perhaps the most obvious benefits are related to health and wellness. Andre, E. et. Al (2017), asserted that spending time in outdoor spaces on campus can reduce stress, enhance mood, self-esteem, reducing many negative feelings, moreover numerous physical benefits such as reducing the risk of infection with many diseases, and strengthening muscles and bones (athletic activities), as well as the positive effect on social support ...
... This finding is supported by the fact that the socio-cultural adaptation scores of community members were higher than those who were not. Additionally, student societies provide various benefits to students who regularly participate in their activities, including socialization, especially within campus recreation programs [52,53]. Similarly, Bonhert et al. [54] and Karahan et al. [55] suggest that participating in various social, cultural, and sports activities on university campuses facilitates students' social adaptation. ...
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This study aims to investigate the social cohesion and leisure constraints among international students studying in Istanbul. The research follows a descriptive study design using a relational survey model, and the sample was selected using the convenience sampling method. The study included a total of 584 participants, with 231 females (39.6%) and 353 males (60.4%), ranging in age from 21 to 56, who were studying at various universities in Istanbul (X̅ age = 26.71, sd = 3.36). The data collection tool used in this research consisted of two parts. The first part included questions related to demographic characteristics and recreational participation habits. The second part utilized the Leisure Constraints Questionnaire-Short Form (LCQ-SF) and the Socio-Cultural Adaptation Scale-Revised (SCAS-R). Descriptive statistics, paired t-tests, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with multiple comparisons, ANOVA tests, and Pearson Correlation tests were employed in the data analysis. Statistical analyses were performed at a 95% confidence interval with a significance level set at p = 0.05. The research findings indicate differences in the socio-cultural adaptation scale and leisure constraint scale scores of international students based on the type of university, regular engagement in recreational activities, membership in social clubs or student societies, and the program of study. Furthermore, the results reveal that as the duration of stay in Turkey increased, the students demonstrated higher socio-cultural adaptation skills while experiencing more leisure constraints with increasing age.
... First, specific electronic databases were used such as: EBSCOhost, ERIC, PsycINFO, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection and EMERALD. Second, existing bibliography (Andre et al., 2017;Attarian and Holden, 2005;Cooley et al., 2015;Holland et al., 2018) and meta-analyses related to ropes courses were reviewed (Bunting and Donley, 2002;Gillis and Speelman, 2008;Neill, 2002). Third, the reference lists of the research papers identified by the database search were reviewed. ...
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This review attempts to determine the observed outcomes of the outdoor training (OT) approach with a special focus on leadership development in higher education students. Fifty-eight studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were selected as primary studies, with a total number of 7,579 university students over 18 years old. The leadership skills domain received noticeable focus with team development being the most common competency, followed by change leadership. The most frequently observed personal attribute outcomes were accurate self-insight, and positive disposition. Interpersonal skills were the third most frequent outcome, with development of relationships and interpersonal effectiveness being the most observed competencies. The last domain of outcomes included skills directly related to management effectiveness, such as decision making and managing the job. The findings of this systematic review provide relevant information for planning and applying a high-impact experimental OT program as part of leadership development amongst university students. Keywords: outdoor training; leadership competencies; observed outcomes; university students; systematic review
... Those who partake in more esthetically pleasing outdoor activities are more prone to attaining positive psychological dispositions and sound mental wellbeing (49). Sports and other outdoor recreational activities in outdoor communication and activity environments assist students in mitigating academic stress (50). More studies have pointed out that physical activities exposed to the outdoor environment of the campus are more beneficial than indoor physical activities to reduce adverse psychological problems such as tension, confusion, anger, and depression (51,52). ...
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Introduction During COVID-19, the mental health of Chinese university students has been a pressing concern. But the internal mechanism of perceived campus outdoor environment and learning engagement affecting college students’ mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been fully discussed. Methods The current study used cross-sectional data from 45 Chinese universities to explore the relationship among perceptions of campus outdoor environments, learning engagement, and college student mental health, and focused on differences among college students in different grades. Results Our study revealed the mental health problems of Chinese college students during the COVID-19 pandemic were more severe. The mental health of postgraduates was generally poor, and their risk of depression was higher than that of undergraduates. More importantly, for postgraduates, the direct impact of the perceived campus outdoor environment on their mental health was stronger. For undergraduates, the indirect impact of learning engagement on the effect of the perceived campus outdoor environment on their mental health was stronger. Conclusion The results of the study have implications for campus planners, landscape architects, and university planners to pay particular attention to the needs of postgraduates for campus outdoor environments, which is of great significance to improve the overall mental health of students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
... iziksel ve zihinsel sağlıkları olumlu etkilenirken, stres seviyeleri azalmakta ve yaşam kaliteleri de artmaktadır. Sağlığa olan faydalarının yanı sıra, akademik başarı, sosyalleşme imkânı, çevresel duyarlılıklarının artması, açık alanda daha fazla vakit geçirebilme ve üniversite ortamına daha hızlı uyum sağlayabilme gibi faydaları da bulunmaktadır.(Andre, Williams, Schwartz & Bullard, 2017;Ellis, Compton, Tyson & Bohlig, 2002;Haines, 2001;Henchy, 2013; Huesman vd., 2009). 6700 üniversite öğrencisinin katılım gösterdiği bir araştırmada öğrencilere kampüs rekreasyonu deneyimlerinin onları nasıl etkilediği üzerine sorular yöneltilmiştir. Yeni insanlarla tanışmak, eğlenmek, ideal kiloyu koruyabilmek, stresin azalması ve fiziks ...
... iziksel ve zihinsel sağlıkları olumlu etkilenirken, stres seviyeleri azalmakta ve yaşam kaliteleri de artmaktadır. Sağlığa olan faydalarının yanı sıra, akademik başarı, sosyalleşme imkânı, çevresel duyarlılıklarının artması, açık alanda daha fazla vakit geçirebilme ve üniversite ortamına daha hızlı uyum sağlayabilme gibi faydaları da bulunmaktadır.(Andre, Williams, Schwartz & Bullard, 2017;Ellis, Compton, Tyson & Bohlig, 2002;Haines, 2001;Henchy, 2013; Huesman vd., 2009). 6700 üniversite öğrencisinin katılım gösterdiği bir araştırmada öğrencilere kampüs rekreasyonu deneyimlerinin onları nasıl etkilediği üzerine sorular yöneltilmiştir. Yeni insanlarla tanışmak, eğlenmek, ideal kiloyu koruyabilmek, stresin azalması ve fiziks ...
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Colleges and universities have generally been seen as environments where physical activity can be facilitated and promoted. Most colleges and universities offer programs and facilities that promote participation in recreational sports, physical activity, and overall physical health. This study was designed to examine the relationship between recreational sports involvement, satisfaction, interpersonal and group, physical health and well-being, and academic benefits of involvement and the importance of sports and fitness activities after graduation. Surveys were randomly distributed to students (N = 718) participating in a variety of recreational sports programs. Multiple regression was used to analyze the relationship between the predictor variables (involvement, satisfaction, and benefits of involvement) and the outcome variable (importance of sports and fitness activities after graduation). Only physical health and well-being benefits and the combined measure of recreational sports involvement were significant predictor variables in the regression equation. Understanding the impact of campus programs devoted to influencing positive health behavior, including physical activity, is a critical component in understanding the benefits of recreational sports involvement. Suggestions for future research are made in the context of the limitations of the study.
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It is well understood that wilderness expeditions improve well-being; however, there is little supporting quantitative data. The aim of this study was to measure the impact of wilderness expeditions on self-esteem (SE) and connectedness to nature (CN) and assess whether benefits varied according to participant and expedition characteristics. SE and CN were assessed pre– and post–wilderness expeditions in 130 adolescents using Rosenberg’s SE scale and the state CN scale. Two-way ANOVA revealed significant increases in SE and CN (p < .001) as a result of single expeditions. There was also an interaction effect of expedition and gender on SE (p < .05). Males had a higher SE at the start but female SE increased most. Linear regression revealed that living environment, gender, and the length and location of the expedition did not contribute to changes in SE and CN. Regular contact with natural environments will improve adolescent well-being, with the largest improvements in females.
This study examined whether participation in an adventure program increased the resiliency of adolescent girls. Eighty-seven girls who participated in Dirt Divas, a non-profit, adventure program, completed the Resiliency Scale for Children and Adolescents® before and after their experience. Means-comparison tests for withinsubjects designs were conducted and revealed that participants reported significantly higher levels of resilience after completing the Dirt Divas program, compared with their pre-program reports. Mixed-model repeated-measures analyses of variance showed that the changes in the girls’ resiliency were not affected by their socioeconomic status. Lastly, the long-term impact results (one month post participation) indicate that observed increases in resilience persist over time.
Research that determines the benefits that undergraduate students gain from participation in university recreation and its importance is needed to defend the existence of university recreation and to align oneself for further growth. Current data is one of the most important documented criteria needed to substantiate an increased operating budget, to justify adding personnel, and to validate the need for additional or new facilities. The goal of this research article is to respond to the need for current data that supports the premise that university recreation positively influences the undergraduate college experience.
This study examined the long-term effects of participation in a half-day, low-element challenge course on the group functioning of members of college student organizations. Seventy-six participants completed measures of group cohesion, group effectiveness, and individual effectiveness within the group at four points in time: (a) one week prior to the course (baseline), (b) immediately prior to the course (pretest), (c) immediately following the course (posttest), (d) and two months after the course (follow-up). Results showed no change in group functioning from baseline to pretest, significant increases in group functioning from pretest to posttest, and a return to pretest levels of group functioning at follow-up. Implications of these results and ideas for extending the longevity of challenge course gains are discussed.
In this paper we examine the effect an outdoor and experiential education program on the life effectiveness skills of its participants. A private boys school in Melbourne focused on the challenging time of year nine to implement a program they hoped would enable the boys to develop life effectiveness skills in the areas of time management, social competence, achievement motivation, intellectual flexibility, task leadership, emotional control, active initiative and self confidence. The program involved a progression through a variety of curriculum areas including a number of outdoor education components and trips. We specifically considered two major areas of the program. The first, an examination of the boys life effectiveness skills after the program; and secondly whether participation in the outdoor education component had a more significant impact on life effectiveness skills compared to the other programs. Results showed the life effectiveness skills of the boys increased after each aspect of the program, with a significant difference found between the life effectiveness skills of the boys who participated in two outdoor education programs compared to only one.
In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor’s degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they’re born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there? For a large proportion of students, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s answer to that question is a definitive no. Their extensive research draws on survey responses, transcript data, and, for the first time, the state-of-the-art Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year. According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills—including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing—during their first two years of college. As troubling as their findings are, Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they will come as no surprise—instead, they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list. Academically Adrift holds sobering lessons for students, faculty, administrators, policy makers, and parents—all of whom are implicated in promoting or at least ignoring contemporary campus culture. Higher education faces crises on a number of fronts, but Arum and Roksa’s report that colleges are failing at their most basic mission will demand the attention of us all.
Participation in recreation during college has been shown to positively impact student development; however, little to no research exists examining leisure activities within a for-credit classroom. The purpose of the study was to examine the role for-credit leisure education classes (leisure skill classes) have on student development at the university level. Focus groups were conducted with students currently enrolled in seven leisure skill classes. Two major themes emerged, motivation/benefits of leisure skill class enrollment and contributions to student development. Students were motivated to participate in the classes due to numerous benefits the class offered (i.e., able to try something new, reduced cost, health benefits, socialization, needing credit). In addition, the classes contributed to development by giving them the opportunity to become well-rounded students and future professionals. Practitioners should consider the multitude of benefits for-credit leisure skill classes can offer in a college setting.
Although the literature base for student retention and attrition within counselor education is somewhat lacking, we can glean much from the general literature on student retention. This study examines a unique orientation program for counseling students aimed at increasing the factors related to counseling student self-efficacy and completion of graduate work. A consensual qualitative research-modified design was used to analyze student reactions to an outdoor orientation program geared toward increasing comfort and reducing student anxiety in regards to beginning their program.
This article examines the impact of an outdoor orientation program (OOP) on a cohort of first-year university students who participated in a canoe trip facilitated by peer leaders. The curriculum included training for outdoor skills and transitional guidance to university life (i.e., strategies for time management, critical thinking, becoming independent, diversity, and information about interpersonal relationships and healthy living). Employing McMillan and Chavis’s (1986) community development model and a qualitative case study approach, data were collected via a structured focus group designed to investigate the impact of the OOP on students’ adjustment to university life. Results of the study revealed that the OOP experience favorably affected students through the development of a strong sense of community, the facilitation of knowledge transfer from the wilderness context to the university setting, and the generation of a definitive sense of commitment and institutional loyalty to the university.