Outdoor recreation and leisure are being promoted in some rural communities as an economic revitalization strategy and an arena for youth development. This research brief reports on a study analyzing a five-wave longitudinal dataset that examined the influence of outdoor activity involvement on postsecondary educational status in a sample of emerging adults from a large, rural county in the northeastern U.S. (N=114). Differences in educational predictors were found between individuals participating in different outdoor activity types and at different levels throughout adolescence. Multinomial regression found the degree of outdoor activity involvement and parental education levels to predict postsecondary enrollment status two years after high school. Additionally, postsecondary enrollment was associated with living outside the area after high school. Results illustrate the importance of considering the relationship between leisure activities, education, and residential decision making when conducting research on youth and community development in rural areas.


Kinesiology, Family Studies, Sociology

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Journal of Leisure Research


Taylor & Francis

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This is an Accepted Manuscript an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Leisure Research in 2018, available online: 10.1080/00222216.2018.1544472