Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Karen Danylchuk


The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the social processes that support ongoing involvement in recreational sport and the negotiation of constraints that would otherwise limit participation. This purpose is explored through three studies. Study 1 examined the contributions of a social group to women’s continued participation in golf through ethnographic methods. Data were collected through an ethnography of a women’s social group that regularly played golf, and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Findings suggested two overarching themes that explained persistence in golf for these women: connecting with group members, and constructing a group culture. Importantly, the processes that facilitated the development of group connections were also identified. Study 2 develops an understanding of constraints and negotiation processes in a self-organized middle age women’s recreation group. While research has found that people prefer to participate with others, work examining constraints to participation have primarily taken an individual perspective. Data were collected and analyzed the same way they were in Study 1. While some of these constraints influenced recreation involvements negatively, the findings predominantly describe six ways in which the group has collectively developed strategies that enabled them to negotiate most constraints. Study 3 extends recent work on the constraint negotiation process through the addition and refinement of key factors, within the context of intramural sports involving undergraduate university students. Results of the structural equation modeling analysis indicated that the perceived-constraint-effects model provided a good fit to the data, and supported the inclusion of ego involvement and motivation.