For Better or Worse? A Structural Model of the Benefits and Costs Associated with Recreational Specialization Academic Article uri icon


  • This research developed and tested a theoretical model on the benefits and costs of recreational specialization. The model proposed that as people specialize in terms of behavior, skill and knowledge, and commitment, they experience enduring benefits. The model also proposed that specialization entails taking on leadership roles that lead to benefits and the perception of diminished self-determination. Diminished self-determination was also thought to be a function of the behavioral commitment people acquire as they specialize. Finally, the model proposed diminished self-determination would undermine the acquisition of enduring benefits. We tested the model using data collected from a sample of American birdwatchers. Results provided partial support for the theoretical model. Our results suggest that as birders become increasingly specialized, the benefits they experience far outweigh any costs they might incur along the way. Copyright Taylor & Francis Inc.

published proceedings

  • Leisure Sciences

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, J., & Scott, D.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Jin-Hyung||Scott, David

publication date

  • January 2006