Research in Outdoor Education




While national demographics in the United States are steadily becoming more racially diverse, participation in outdoor and adventure recreation programs is still dominated by individuals identifying as White and Caucasian. College outdoor adventure programs aiming to provide opportunities for diverse recreational and educational experiences to the student body at large generally struggle to attract minority students. While much research has discussed the disparity, little literature exists to help understand and guide recruitment, and increase participation. This study explored factors contributing to leisure choice in outdoor recreation, awareness of university outdoor programming, and the motivations or constraints that influenced individual participation. Focus group interviews and a constructivist perspective were employed using a qualitative, inductive reasoning strategy to inquire about the subject and come to the conclusions found herein. This study found that factors that constrained minority participation in COAP programming included structural and inter/intrapersonal barriers, family leisure history, lack of role models and knowledge of adventure, cultural differences, and negative perceptions related to participation in adventure activities.