Comparative Analyses of Constraint Negotiation Strategies in Campus Recreational Sports

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leisure constraints, negotiation strategies, campus recreation, college students


Leisure constraints, defined as factors that may negatively affect participation in recreational activities, have been extensively investigated over the last 20 years. There is evidence to support the notion that despite the presence of constraints, individuals still participate in recreational activities. A limited amount of research has examined how individuals overcome or “negotiate” constraints, enabling them to engage in leisure activities. The purpose of this study was to determine if differences existed in the use of negotiation based on the degree of constraint perceived and the level of participation in sports activities. The sample of this study consisted of college students at two Midwestern universities (N=911). Negotiation strategies were compared based on level of participation and perceived level of constraint using 2 X 2 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).Results indicated significant differences in negotiation between regular participants in campus recreational sports and those who did not participate regularly in the use of time management, physical fitness, interpersonal coordination, and improving finances strategies. Significant differences in negotiation were also found among students with differing levels of perceived constraint in utilization of negotiation strategies. The higher the perception of structural constraints, the more likely an individual was to make attempts to modify their schedule and make financial adjustments in order to make time to participate. Additionally, individuals moderately constrained were significantly more likely to use change their leisure aspirations than those who perceived a low level of intrapersonal constraint.

The results of this study indicate that an individual’s willingness to negotiate leisure constraints plays an important role in participation in campus recreational sports. By addressing different constraints and negotiation strategies, campus recreational sports providers may be able to meet the needs of more students and increase levels of participation.


This article was originally published as Elkins, D. J., Beggs, B. A. (2007). Comparative analyses of constraint negotiation strategies in campus recreational sports. LARNet: Journal of Applied Leisure and Recreation Research. 03.html