This study explored if incidence of and coping response to recreation conflict differed between men and women. The socio-psychological literature offers inconclusive evidence on this, and two hypotheses have emerged. The situational hypothesis attributes coping differences to the nature of the conflict whereas the dispositional hypothesis attributes coping differences to inherent differences between men and women. To test these two hypotheses, data were collected from 521 cross-country skiers and 451 hikers. Factor analysis, t-tests, and analysis of covariance found that men reported more visitor interaction and trail quality conflicts than did women while hiking, but only more trail quality conflicts when cross-country skiing. In their response to conflict, no significant difference in coping strategies emerged between men and women. Findings provide tentative support for the situational hypothesis of coping, strengthen the existing research on coping, and add to the literature on women's recreational experiences.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the Minnesota Recreational Trails Association for funding this project through the Recreational Trails Program in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.
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- leisure coping
- leisure negotiation
- outdoor recreation