Understanding relationships among recreation opportunities: A meta-analysis of nine studies

Chad D. Pierskalla, Martha E. Lee, Taylor V. Stein, Dorothy H. Anderson, Ron Nickerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Outdoor recreation providers intuitively know that visitors engage in particular activities in desired outdoor settings to attain beneficial experiences. There is a lack of understanding among managers and researchers, however, about the relationships that exist between these recreation opportunities. What are the salient inputs (activities and/or settings) that contribute to the production of certain outputs (benefit opportunities)? How does the magnitude of activity and setting effects compare to each other and vary across benefit items? To gain a better understanding of recreation opportunities and their relationships, data from nine benefits-based management pilot-studies were collected, analyzed, and combined using meta-analytic techniques. Two-way analysis of variance was used to test the dependency of twelve benefit attainment items on setting and activity type in each study. Meta-analysis techniques were used to calculate two types of results that were derived from the two-way analysis of variance tests. (1) Fisher's inverse chi-square method was used to combine the significance levels derived from 'F' statistics; and, (2) the 'F' statistic associated with each two-way analysis of variance test was converted into a common metric called an effect size (r) and an average effect size was calculated for each input/output relationship. Six of the twelve benefits examined were significantly affected by a recreational input, particularly activity type. These findings strengthen the argument that not all outcomes require certain types of activity and setting inputs. For a more robust comparison of the benefits, the twelve benefits were categorized based on the type of recreational input affecting them. By focusing on inputs of the production process when categorizing benefits, this research provides a more detailed breakdown of benefits. Suggestions for recreation management and future research are presented in light of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-180
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Benefits-based management
  • Events
  • Recreation management
  • Recreation opportunities


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