Recreation Conflict - Coping
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Johnson, A. and C. Dawson. 2004. "An exploratory study of the complexities of coping behavior in the Adirondack Wilderness." Leisure Sciences 26(3): 281-293.

This study investigates the use of both behavioral and cognitive coping mechanisms by interviewing hikers (n=102) in the Adirondack Wilderness. This study looks to determine whether coping behaviors are a reasonable explanation for wilderness recreationists' high overall satisfaction levels despite reports of visitor over-crowding and other social conditions exceeding acceptable levels. Four specific coping mechanisms were investigated: temporal displacement, spatial displacement, product shift (redefining expectations or experiential definition) and rationalization (a cognitive process that attempts to rectify inconsistencies or incongruity between their expectations and what they encounter). The study found over half of respondents used coping mechanisms with temporal displacement, spatial displacement and product shift being used in roughly equal proportion (30%), with rationalization an infrequent strategy (8%). Of the users reporting coping behaviors, many used multiple strategies to maintain satisfaction levels.

Manning, R. and W. Valliere. 2001. "Coping in outdoor recreation: Causes and consequences of crowding and conflict among community residents." Journal of Leisure Research 33(4): 410-426.

This study investigates the adoption of coping behaviors - displacement, product shift, and rationalization - amongst residents of communities in and around Acadia National Park in Main. This study found relatively high levels of coping behavior - approximately 50% for both displacement and product shift behaviors, but only 35% for rationalization - in response to perceived increases in overall recreation use levels, some recreation activities and some problem behaviors. While only 7.4% of respondents reported that they no longer use the carriage roads because of the changes in use that have occurred, nearly all respondents (94%) reported adopting one or more behavioral or cognitive coping mechanisms. The study concludes that coping may be pervasive in outdoor recreation, that coping includes behavioral and cognitive mechanisms, and that coping is related to perceived changes in both the amount and type of outdoor recreation. The authors speculate on whether the high levels of coping reported in this study are "productive" responses or are indicative of an unhealthy and ultimately dysfunctional system. The authors also conclude that "satisfaction" may be a meaningless or misleading measure for the effective evaluation of outdoor recreation experiences and that measures relating more to coping behaviors may provide managers with more useful information.

Hall, T. and B. Shelby. 2000. "Temporal and spatial displacement: Evidence from a high-use reservoir and alternate sites." Journal of Leisure Research 32(4): 435-456.

This study investigates the amount of temporal and spatial displacement behaviors used by visitors in response to crowding at popular reservoir in Oregon. Surveys of recreational users from the reservoir site itself (n=1,069) indicated that about half altered their behavior in some way because of crowding, primarily through altering the time of day, week or year that they came to the reservoir (42%) and secondarily through shifting their use to a different area of the reservoir or to another recreational area altogether (26%). The study also interviewed users at nearby alternative sites (n=169) and found about half of people these people used the reservoir less than in the past. However, only half of these people attributed their shift in behavior to crowding or undesirable conditions at the reservoir. Displacement was more likely to used as a behavior by those who have been using the reservoir for a longer period of time. Users who exhibit displacement behaviors also rated conflict with other users, lack of facility issues, and environmental degradation as a bigger problem The study has discusses in detail areas of similarity or discrepancy with past displacement research.

Shindler, B. and B. Shelby. 1995. "Product shift in recreation settings - findings and implications from panel research." Leisure Sciences 17(2): 91-107.

This study uses data from two surveys of the same individuals on the Rogue River to asses the level of product shift behaviors - users responding to to changing social or environmental conditions by changing their definition of the recreation experience. River floaters who were surveyed in a 1977 study were recontacted in 1991. Results from this study confirmed earlier findings and indicate that visitors are more more likely to change experience definitions than to become dissatisfied, their experience definitions change toward higher density experiences, their float party encounter norms increase, and perceived crowding does not change. However, other findings contradicted the product shift theory as norms for off-river encounters did not increase and user satisfaction decreased slightly. The authors conclude that this last finding should be viewed cautiously as satisfaction is influenced by many factors and their findings do not allow any assumptions about causality to be made.

Robertson, R. A. and J. A. Regula. 1994. "Recreational displacement and overall satisfaction - A study of central Iowa licensed boaters." Journal of Leisure Research 26(2): 174-181.

This study examines the extent to which displacement occurred among boaters on the Rock Reservoir in central Iowa. Unlike previous displacement studies, this study employs a stratified random sample of boat owners, rather than Reservoir users, as its data collection methodology. Only answers from those users having reported at least one visit to the Reservoir were used in this study. A total of 45% of respondents indicate that they were displaced from the Reservoir because of siltation, while 14% indicated they visited the Reservoir on the weekend to avoids crowds. Boaters who were displaced from the reservoir were less satisfied with their most recent boating experience at the reservoir than those who were not displaced. The study findings also indicate that boaters were willing to make trade-offs in site characteristics, accepting the siltation of the Reservoir while avoiding crowds at other reservoirs.

Kuentzel, W. F. and T. A. Heberlein. 1992. "Cognitive and behavioral adaptations to perceived crowding: A panel study of coping and displacement." Journal of Leisure Research 24(4): 377-393.

This study uses data collected from a panel of boaters at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 1975 and a subsequent resurvey (n=397) in 1985 to test the relationship of perceived crowding in 1975 to attitude changes (cognitive coping strategies), and behavioral shifts (intrasite displacement and discontinued participation at the Apostle Islands). The researchers present a hierarchical crowding model that proposes that crowding is the first copping mechanism used by those feeling crowded, intrasite displacement is used by those feeling more crowded displacement to other sites by those feeling most crowded. However, the results of this study found no support for the hierarchical crowding model. Instead, those who felt most crowded were more likely to use a intrasite displacement behaviors and avoid the more crowded islands. The use of cognitive coping strategies were not significantly related to crowding scores and those boaters who stopped coming to the Apostle Islands did so for reasons other than crowding. These findings indicate that intrasite displacement provides an adequate coping strategy for boaters at the Apostle Islands. The notion that increasing use levels will necessarily drive the most sensitive users away is not supported among boaters at the Apostle Islands. This may related to specific factors related to the Apostle Islands, not as crowded as other areas and diversity of sites, and the lack of good substitutes for the majority of Apostle Islands boaters.

Hammitt, W. E. and M. E. Patterson. 1991. "Coping behavior to avoid visitor encounters: Its relationship to wildland policy." Journal of Leisure Research 23(3): 225-237.

This study investigates the coping behaviors used by backpackers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Coping behaviors are one mechanism that individuals have for avoiding or minimizing negative experiences or conflict while participating in recreation activities. For backpackers interested in the solitude of wilderness hiking, coping behaviors can be used to reduce encounters and maintain wildland privacy. Results from this study demonstrate that physical coping behaviors (camping out of sight of other groups, timing trip to avoid other parties, avoiding trails which are known to be popular, avoiding the park during peak times, using more difficult trails, using trails that have not been well maintained) are used more frequently than social coping behaviors (avoiding talking to backpackers outside of own group in camp or on the trail, initiate greeting to other parties, exchange ideas about equipment and trip plans, initiate social interaction with backpackers in own party or in other parties). The study also finds that physical coping behaviors were more strongly influenced by the importance of wildland solitude and congruent encounter norms. The authors speculate that backpackers use physical coping behaviors to try and achieve the desired privacy, but should encounters occur, backpackers seem willing to accept the passive social demands examined in this study.

Shelby, B., N. S. Bregenzer and R. Johnson. 1988. "Displacement and product shift - Empirical evidence from Oregon rivers." Journal of Leisure Research 20(4): 274-288.

This paper explores two hypotheses - displacement and product shift - for the apparent lack of relationship found between user density and satisfaction in recreation. In this study, displacement is defined as users responding to increasing densities by moving to more and more remote sites and product shift as users responding to increased densities by changing their definitions of recreation experiences. To study these hypotheses data from three different studies surveying boaters on the Rogue and Illinois Rivers were used. Two studies surveyed river runners on the Rogue, once in 1977 and the second time in 1984, while the survey on the Illinois was conducted in 1979. Results from these surveys supported six specific conclusions: 1) users are more likely to be displaced or change experience definitions than to become dissatisfied, 2) reasons for displacement include social and environmental factors, 3) experience definitions will change toward higher density experiences, 4) encounter norms will change to higher levels, 5) perceived crowding will not change, and 6) satisfaction will remain high.

Anderson, D. H. and P. J. Brown. 1984. "The displacement process in recreation." Journal of Leisure Research 16(1): 61-73.

This paper looks at the displacement process, recreation users switching to other sites, in outdoor recreation. It attempts to explain the process from a social-psychological perspective. Displacement behaviors are modeled as being the result of attitudes towards different behaviors and an individual's expectations (norms) of behavior. In this study, user behavior and user attitudes (the normative component was not considered) were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire of 858 people in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. While this study does not reveal causal relationships, it shows that factors of displacement include litter, noise, overuse, and visual encounters with others. In contrast, the study found little support for crowding as an indicator of displacement.

Becker, R. H. 1981. "Displacement of recreational users between the Lower St. Croix and Upper Mississippi Rivers." Journal of Environmental Management 13: 259-267.

This study investigates whether their is a relationship between user density and visitor satisfaction on the Lower St. Croix and Upper Mississippi Rivers. When the rivers were viewed on their own, users on both the Mississippi and the St. Croix were equally satisfied with their experience. Like many other crowding studies, this finding seems to indicate their was no relationship between density and user satisfaction. However, when the two rivers were considered together it was found that some users who were bothered by high use levels on the St. Croix shifted their activity to the Mississippi. Users on the St. Croix were more inclined towards social aspects of recreation while users on the Mississippi were inclined towards experiences of solitude and less human influence in terms of pollution, facilities or boat traffic. The authors conclude that this study demonstrates that their is a clear relationship between user density and satisfaction, but studies that do not account for displacement or other coping behaviors fail to find this important relationship.

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