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Achieving a better understanding of outdoor recreation conflict and its management in Canada's national parks Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Spiers, Andrew
Supervisor and department
Walker, Gordon (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Krogman, Naomi (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Halpenny, Elizabeth (Physical Education and Recreation)
Fox, Karen (Physical Education and Recreation)
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Outdoor recreation conflict has been defined as “…goal interference attributed to another’s behavior” (Jacob & Schreyer, 1980, p. 369). Although previous leisure research has stressed the relevance of emotions (e.g., Hull, Stewart, & Yi, 1992), it has only been within the past decade that an increased interest in leisure-based emotions has occurred (e.g., Tumes, 2007; Vitterso et al., 2004). From this, development and evaluation of the validity and reliability of a multi-item, multidimensional emotions-based outdoor recreation conflict scale represented the primary purpose of this study. A second study purpose was introduced to investigate the outdoor recreation conflict knowledge transfer process within Canada’s National Parks. Scale validity and reliability were analyzed through the use of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and established fit indices (i.e., Chi-Square, CFI, GFI, SRMR, RMSEA) using LISREL statistical software. Empirical assessment of the emotions-based scale supported the construct validity of a three-dimensional, 13-item scale. The predictive validity of the scale related to outdoor recreation conflict was also substantiated. Dimension reliability for all three dimensions (emotion = .84; appraisal = .86; and core affect = .72) was also confirmed. Recommendations for future research are presented including the need to establish the scales’ reliability and validity under different circumstances, in different settings, with different user groups. Findings from the knowledge transfer process highlight that: (a) managers value existing and future relationships with academics, (b) managers require “tools” that permit quick and easy access to relevant information, and (c) research information needs to be presented in a way that is understandable, short and succinct. The proposed outdoor recreation conflict scale was identified as valuable and interesting; however, managers did not see the scale as being appropriate for general use with the research intensive language proving to be a barrier for managers. Overall, this research advances theoretical understanding of outdoor recreation conflict through the development of the first emotions-based conflict scale and reveals important findings for improving the delivery and acceptance of outdoor recreation and conflict related research. Practical and theoretical findings are discussed as they relate to the leisure field and other disciplines of inquiry.
License granted by Andrew Spiers ( on 2011-12-01T18:37:01Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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