Toward an Understanding of Noncompliant Behavior in Outdoor Recreation: Linking the Theory of Planned Behavior to Off-Leash Dogs at William B. Umstead State Park.

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Title: Toward an Understanding of Noncompliant Behavior in Outdoor Recreation: Linking the Theory of Planned Behavior to Off-Leash Dogs at William B. Umstead State Park.
Author: Nesbitt, Robert Keith
Advisors: Roger L. Moore, Committee Member
Aram Attarian, Committee Member
Christos D. Siderelis, Committee Chair
Abstract: The present study used the theory of planned behavior to elicit attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control measures of dog walkers at William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. The theory states that all behaviors are performed as a result of behavioral intention mediated through the influence of attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control. These three components are, in turn, influenced by beliefs, social pressure and perceived facilitation of the behavior. The three tenets of the theory of planned behavior were used to explain the propensity to engage in noncompliant behavior in a park setting—specifically, illegally walking a dog off-leash inside park boundaries. Measures of salient beliefs were accomplished by the addition of Gramann and Vander Stoep's (1986) six typologies of normative violations. Forty-eight percent of dog owners surveyed during the data collection period reported that they had allowed their dog off-leash inside park boundaries within the past 12 months. A combination of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control were found to be significant determinants of allowing dogs to run off-leash inside the park. Consistent with previous research, attitude and perceived control influenced behavior more than the subjective norm. Likewise, salient beliefs were significantly linked to attitude, perceived control and subjective norm statements. Based upon this study's findings, the majority of off-leash incidents were classified as belonging to Gramann and Vander Stoep's "responsibility denial", "uninformed" and "willful violation" categories. Implications for management to curb noncompliant behavior are discussed in detail.
Date: 2006-11-19
Degree: MS
Discipline: Natural Resources
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1649


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