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Recreation Experience Preference Among First-Year College Students

McKenzie, Emily Ayers
The purpose of this study was to investigate the link, if any, between recreation experience preference and demographics or type of event among first-year college students at Oklahoma State University. The researcher investigated the recreation experience preferences of first-year college students who chose to participate in freshman-based, outdoor-oriented programs provided by the university. A modified version of the Recreation Experience Preference scales provided by Driver (1983) along with a questionnaire about demographic information was administered to volunteers following each event. There was no significant difference in Recreation Experience Preference Scales scores based on demographics or type of event. Low participation rates adversely affected analysis. There were, however, interesting trends in items consistently chosen as important or unimportant to the participants. Domains that showed high mean scores among the participants were (1) Achievement/Stimulation, (2) Learning, and (3) Escape Personal-Social Pressures. "To experience new and different things" had the highest mean score, which indicates that learning is very important to these participants. On the other hand, domains that showed low mean scores among the participants were (1) Escape Physical Pressure, (2) Risk Reduction, and (3) Autonomy/Leadership. "To be alone" had the lowest mean score, indicating that it was least important to the participants, which is consistent with Tinto's model that suggests social integration is essential.