Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Robert T. Wagner


Participation by South Dakotans in selected areas of outdoor recreation was studied to determine varying extents of participation and associated selected sociodemographic, socialization and attitudinal factors. A statewide random sample of 474 heads-of-households (or their spouses) was selected and interviewed using a pretested schedule. The findings were present in three forms: a descriptive summary, a nonparametric analysis of association and a multivariate analysis. The descriptive analysis revealed fishing, hunting and lakeside camping or picnicking to be the activities participated in most frequently. Conversely, water-skiing, ice fishing and snowmobiling were participated in least. Analysis of association showed that each of the sociodemographic and socialization variables employed in the study were significantly associated with participation in at least four of the selected outdoor recreational activities. Readership of conservation or outdoor sports magazines was significantly associated with all 11 activities studied. Age was associated with all activities except game bird hunting. Using a stepwise multiple regression analysis, 13 variables were found to contribute significantly to the total proportion of variance explained. They were sex, readership of outdoor sports magazines, age, children living at home, urban-rural residence, participation in predator control, attitudes towards game management, commitment to the dove hunting issue, race, marital status, income, education and enrollment in a course in safe handling of firearms. Males, regular readers of conservation or outdoor sports magazines, younger, householders with more children living at home, urbanites, participants in predator control, persons with less favorable sentiments regarding present game management regulations, highly committed advocates or opponents of a hunting issue, nonwhites, single persons or married persons dwelling together, persons with higher incomes, persons with less formal education and persons who had taken a course in safe handling of firearms participated more in outdoor recreational activities. Conclusions from the study were: 1. Although the findings indicate hunting, fishing and lakeside camping or picnicking to be popular outdoor leisure activities among South Dakotans, there is no consistent pattern regarding the attributes of individuals most likely to participate in these or other activities studied. 2. Participation in the various outdoor recreational activities selected for study depends on the characteristics of the activities. 3. Varying participation in outdoor recreational activities in South Dakota partially supports previously posited theories and perspectives. 4. The findings indicate sociodemographic, socialization and attitudinal variables are related to participation in the outdoor activities studied; thus, providing substantial support for the theoretical framework of this study. Over 52 percent of the variance in participation in outdoor recreation was explained in the regression analysis, and it is noted that the predominance of factors explaining variance in outdoor recreational behavior were sociodemographic.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Outdoor recreation
Outdoor recreation -- South Dakota




South Dakota State University