Measuring Birding Specialization: A Confirmatory Factor Analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • This purpose of this paper was to test a three-dimensional model of recreational specialization developed by Scott and Shafer (2001a). The model suggests recreational specialization could be conceptualized in terms of three distinct dimensions: behavior, skill and knowledge, and commitment. The model was tested using data from avid American birdwatchers (members of the American Birding Association). Results revealed behavior, skill and knowledge, and commitment were moderately related but did not always covary. In addition, the three-dimensional model was a better fit to the data than a traditional single additive model. These results supported previous arguments suggesting researchers need to explore the distinct impact of each dimension of specialization, rather than using additive indices, on various dependent variables. Future researchers may explore whether or not the model can be generalized to other populations of birders (e.g., less skilled birdwatchers) and other groups of recreationists (e.g., anglers, hunters, mountain climbers). Taylor and Francis Inc.

published proceedings

  • Leisure Sciences

author list (cited authors)

  • LEE, J., & SCOTT, D.

citation count

  • 76

complete list of authors


publication date

  • July 2004