The Contribution of Campus Recreational Sports Participation to Perceived Sense of Campus Community

Document Type


Publication Date



Out-of-class involvement provides students with opportunities for rich social lives which, according to Cheng (2004), are closely associated with sense of campus community. Based on Astin's (1984) Theory of Involvement, and Boyer's (1990) principles of community, the purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which involvement in campus recreational sports programs is associated with students' perceived sense of campus community. Three hundred and thirty respondents completed an on-line questionnaire which consisted of demographics and questions related to their out-of-class involvement in 14 areas as identified by the institutions' Dean of Students Office, and a 25-item sense of community scale developed by Cheng (2004). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to examine the underlying factor structure of the sense of community scale. The six factors extracted from the EFA served as independent variables in a multiple regression analysis used to predict student perceived sense of campus community using a sample of 125 participants in campus recreational sports. In addition, participation levels in campus recreational sports were used to measure differences in perceived sense of campus community based on involvement using a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). Results suggest participation in campus recreational sports significantly predicted a sense of community within the diversity and acceptance factor. In addition, students who participated in campus recreational sports perceived a greater sense of campus community based on the residential experience factor when compared with those students who did not participate.


This article was originally published as Elkins, D. J., Forrester, S. A., Noël-Elkins, A. V. (2011). The contribution of campus recreational sports participation to perceived sense of campus community. Recreational Sports Journal, 35(1), 24-34.