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Date of Award



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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Physical Education: Sports and Recreation Administration


Physical Education, Health and Recreation

First Advisor

Matthew Chase

Second Advisor

Emily Messina

Third Advisor

Justin Otto


"Colleges and universities across the United States continue to struggle with student retention (Wolfe & Kay, 2011; Tinto, 1993; Astin, 1993). The use of extracurricular activities in higher education has been one route in addressing this issue (Tinto, 1993; Lang, 2001-2002; Hall, 2006). Many colleges continue to incorporate outdoor adventure programs as an option for campus recreation (Bentley, 2005; Festeu, 2002). Outdoor recreation has become a component of American society and its popularity continues to increase. Outdoor adventure programs offered by colleges and universities across the United States represent another area of recent growth (Attarian, 2001). While a number of works have addressed leisure motivation in outdoor settings (Anderson, Anderson, & Young, 2000; Driver, 1977; 2008; Driver, Tarrant, & Manfredo, 1991; Ewert, 1985; 1993; Ewert, & Hollenhorst, 1989; Manfredo, Driver, & Tarrant, 1996; Manning, 2011; Sugerman, 2001), a gap exists with respect to students in college based adventure programs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceived climbing motivations of students enrolled in instructor based climbing classes, at a university climbing wall. This study only found a significant difference in one of its three hypotheses. No significant difference was found between gender or participation level, but there was a significant difference for the participants between experience level. This study also briefly addressed the relation between the climbing wall program and student retention. By understanding the elements involved in participating in college climbing classes, this research provides empirical evidence for management decision making. These decisions could include changes and improvements in courses offered and even marketing strategies for the climbing wall. Motives were measured with the implementation of a survey questionnaire. In addition to recording personal information, the questionnaire contained the Recreation Experience Preference (REP) scales developed by Driver (1983). The REP scales have been used in a number of outdoor recreation areas, as well as in college outdoor adventure programs (Bentley, 2005). For this study, the survey was administered to students enrolled in instructor based climbing classes at Eastern Washington University's climbing wall. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data and determine statistical significance. Descriptive statistics were used to investigate participant differences in motives. Two types of inferential statistics were run. First, multiple MANOVAs were used to investigate if there are any significant differences across experience level, participation level, and gender. Second, two stepwise multiple regressions were run to determine if any of the REP scales could predict experience level or participation level"--Document.


Typescript. Vita.