Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Dr. William Norman, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Gregory Ramshaw

Committee Member

Dr. James Sanderson


Clemson University has experienced low attendance rates at women's sporting events over the past few years. Undergraduate students are possibly limited in their intention to attend these events by various constraints (i.e., intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural). Although these constraints can reduce students' intention to attend women's sporting events, the negotiation process can reduce and possibly overcome the impact of these barriers through various resources and strategies. Social media is one popular negotiation tool that provides equal opportunity for many potential users and is not limited by time or location. This study framed social media as a constraint negotiation resource, exploring its influence on the intention to attend women's sporting events at Clemson University. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to explore how Clemson University could reduce the influence of the constraints and increase attendance at women's sporting events through the use of social media using a conceptual framework based on Hubbard and Mannell's (2001) independence model. Data was collected through an online survey of a stratified sample of 2,000 undergraduate students enrolled at Clemson University in the Fall 2015 Semester. The findings supported the conceptual framework of the independence model. Motivation, constraints and constraint negotiation significantly explained the intention to attend women's sporting events. The study found students were constrained by the behavior and the attitude of others. In essence, students tend to prefer attending sporting events with a high attendance. However, this study also found sporting event related posts and comments shared by users on social media have the potential to increase students' intention to attend women's sporting events. It may be concluded from this study that social media may play an important role in addressing and mitigating the constraints resulting from other students' behaviors and attitudes; that is, undergraduate student intention to attend a women's sporting event is influenced more by event-related posts and comments on social media than by their peers' decision. The findings from this study could contribute to a better understanding of the attitude toward and the intention to attend women's sporting events, thereby increasing Clemson University's school awareness, campus excitement and student involvement as well as equalizing its focus and attention on men's and women's sports, an integral part of the mission of Title IX.



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