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Title:A Comparison of the Perceptions of Leisure Opportunity Between Behavior Disordered and General Education Adolescents
Author(s):Rickards, William Havens
Department / Program:Leisure Studies
Discipline:Leisure Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The continued use of recreation-related interventions for delinquent and behavior problem youth will depend upon research-based concepts involving the contribution of recreation to development and adjustment. In this study it was proposed that the perception of recreation opportunity plays a critical role in this relationship. From a junior high school population, 20 behavior disordered students and 20 students from general education classes were interviewed regarding their perceptions of recreation opportunity. The subjects were matched on race and neighborhood in order to control for social-economic variables. It was hypothesized that while the groups would not differ in their reported interests, they would, when presented with typical situations, differ in the alternatives perceived as available and that the behavior disordered students would have fewer leisure skills, less familiarity with community leisure resources and more negative feelings in free time. Data were collected in a structured interview composed of rating scales and situation protocols. As hypothesized, the groups did not differ in patterns of activity preference and free time feelings were significantly higher for the general education students (F = 4.22, df = 1.38, p < .05); the other hypotheses were not adequately supported. However, significant differences did appear in further analyses involving the greater frequency of ambiguous and inappropriate responses, child-role responses and specific versus categorical perceptions for these behavior disordered students. Potential differences between the groups were explored relative to closure with childhood, the internalization of socially-appropriate standards of behavior, the conceptualization of opportunity in categorical versus specifications, and the interaction of these individual factors with circumstantial factors. It was suggested that the general education students were able to approach free time in a manner which optimized their chances of finding satisfying leisure activities, facilitating the developmental and adjuctive functions which have been theoretically attributed to leisure. The implications of these findings were discussed relative to various service settings for behavior problem adolescents. Further research should seek to clarify the roles played by family structure and other environmental factors in the perception of recreation opportunity.
Issue Date:1982
Description:166 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8218548
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1982

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