Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Powell, Robert B.

Committee Member

Wright , Brett

Committee Member

Kuo , Frances


The last 50 years have seen much research, theory development, and building of the concept of restorative environments and their associated effects on people's cognition, attention, and moods. However, much of this research has focused exclusively on setting characteristics and largely ignored the influence of activity on restorative outcomes. Thus, the purpose of this research was to explore the effects of semester-long recreational activity participation by comparing varying degrees of recreational activity and setting characteristics and their influence on mental restoration, general affective state, and perceived stress levels in college students that were enrolled in a range of multi-week physical recreation classes. Students participating in Leisure Skills classes, involving a range of recreational activities and settings, at Clemson University were surveyed during the 2007 spring semester. As a result of participation, males tended to report higher general affective states than females. While no significant differences in restorative outcomes were found in association with setting characteristics, higher projected academic performance was associated with those students assessing their recreational settings as completely built. In addition, increased immediate restorative measures were associated with higher perceived levels of autonomy and physical intensity. While demographic differences may explain some or all of the findings, variables concerning both the setting as well as the activity appeared important in predicting restorative outcomes. Future analyses of these data should examine whether differences due to gender, class level, or previous GPA can explain these relationships.



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