An exploration of commitment in nature-based recreation, and its relationship with participation and purchase behaviour

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Family and Consumer Sciences

Publication Date



Commitment to nature-based recreation is important for health outcomes, to support the conservation of the natural environment, and for economic reasons. Committed participants are likely to continue to support the activity with their subscriptions and memberships, and to make other activity-related purchases. However, the relationship between the psychological and behavioural components of commitment remains contested. This research investigates the commitment-behaviour link to help us understand some of the outcomes of nature-based recreation. The study used a modified version of the Sport Commitment Model (SCM) to measure the psychological commitment of 1024 nature-based recreationists active in freshwater angling, mountaineering, hunting or tramping. We examined the relationship between their psychological and behavioural commitment, measuring this through the frequency of participation and activity-related expenditure. Findings suggest a positive relationship for both, although surprisingly stronger for purchase than participation. However, we also identified a confounding effect of income, with activity-related expenditure being related to both psychological commitment and income.


This article was originally published in Annals of Leisure Research. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Annals of Leisure Research