Reading Habits and Attitudes of Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Services Professionals


This study examined recent reading practices and beliefs of parks, recreation, and leisure services professionals. For many years, faculty members have engaged in informal discussions at professional meetings and in journals about the need to bridge the gap between academicians and practitioners in terms of moving research findings into practice. At present, the primary methods for disseminating research results are through publication (in journals) and conferences (research symposia). While direct assessments have not occurred, academicians often wonder who is reading the research journals. The purposes of this study were to: (1) determine how often respondents read which periodicals, (2) ascertain reading frequencies of specific journal content, and (3) examine respondents' attitudes toward the publication and dissemination of research. After sending electronic surveys to 2000 NRPA members, 850 practitioners and academicians supplied usable data. A large majority of respondents rarely or never read research-based periodicals; the most frequently read journal among all respondents was Parks & Recreation Magazine. The most common types of information read by respondents were professional issues, full-length articles, and legal issues columns. The majority of respondents agreed that research articles should include a section about implications for practice, and that practitioners should read research to stay current in the field.

Document Type





periodicals, readership, reading habits, recreation, leisure studies

Publication Date


Journal Title

SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education