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Rural-urban differences in hunting and birdwatching attitudes and participation intent

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Outdoor recreation facilitates important connections to nature and wildlife, but it is perceived differently across population segments. As such, we expected that socio-demographic characteristics of individuals would influence intention to participate in outdoor recreation. We solicited 5,000 U.S. residents (n = 1,030, 23% response rate) to describe their perceptions of hunting and birdwatching. The influence of current and childhood community size (i.e., urban-rural) was examined as a potentially important predictor of intention to participate in hunting and birdwatching, along with attitudes, norms, and perceived behavioral control (PBC). Hunting intentions, attitudes, norms, and PBC were more positive when respondents maintained a residence in rural areas. Alternatively, birdwatching attitudes, norms, and PBC did not differ with current or childhood community size. Programs aimed at increasing participation in outdoor recreation should carefully consider the importance of the urban-rural residence gradient in the context of their objectives, especially for recruiting urban hunters.




Wilkins, E. J., Cole, N. W., Miller, H. M., Schuster, R. M., Dayer, A. A., Duberstein, J. N., … Raedeke, A. H. (2019). Rural-urban differences in hunting and birdwatching attitudes and participation intent. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 24(6), 530–547.

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