Community Wellness and Social Support as Motivation for Participation in Outdoor Adventure Recreation


  • Ryan Zwart Montreat College
  • Ryan Hines Northern Michigan University



outdoor adventure recreation, motivation, social support, community


In recent decades, researchers and land managers have seen steadily increasing numbers of outdoor adventure recreation (OAR) participation. Social and community support have long been topics in outdoor recreation literature. The following study aimed to further explain to what extent social and community support and well-being occur because of OAR participation and how important social and community components are to outdoor adventure recreation participants. This study interviewed participants of three OAR activities including, rock climbing, mountain biking, and whitewater paddling. Results from this study revealed two emergent themes related to socially oriented motivations of participation, which include shared experience in nature as well as social and community aspects of participation. The study also includes activity specific social aspects of motivation for participation. Connections of findings to current understanding of OAR are made and supported in the discussion, as well as considerations for future study.

Author Biographies

Ryan Zwart, Montreat College

Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation Studies

Ryan Hines, Northern Michigan University

Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation, Leadership, and Management


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