Environmental cues and vandalism: An Exploratory Study of Picnic Table Carving

  • Samdahl D
  • Christensen H
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the potential effect of environmental conditions on the occurrence of vandalism in recreation areas. The study focused on the carving on 190 picnic tables as a type of vandalism. The physical condition of the tables was examined to look for possible "releasor cues" related to new impacts. In addition, the location of the table was assessed in terms of the strength of external social controls. Results suggested that new carving occurred more frequently on tables that bore previous carving and that campgrounds with greater salience of authority received fewer carving impacts. Implications for managers of recreation areas are described.

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Authors

  • Diane M. Samdahl

  • Harriet H. Christensen

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