Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education

Department

Recreation

First Advisor

Ward, Whitney

Abstract

Previous research has found that there are considerable benefits women experience after having spent time in the outdoors, and it is important that women are given the opportunity to discover them (McDermott, 2004). The purpose of the current research was to investigate if and how benefits and changes occur in women after participation in a women-specific outdoor recreation experience. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques were used to answer the four research questions. Data was collected from 40 women at the 2011 Women in the Outdoors Illinois State Event. It was found that benefits and changes occurred following the event, and new insight into how and why changes occurred was also exposed. Finally, discussion and implications are made about the future of outdoor programming for women, considering consumptive sports as outdoor recreational activities, the possibilities of intergenerational programming, and future research ideas and recommendations.

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