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Proceedings of the 2005 northeastern recreation research symposium.


: U.S. Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station

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The Dispositional Flow Scale (DFS), developed by Jackson et al. (1998), measures an individual’s dispositional tendency to experience flow, a psychological state of optimal experience originally conceptualized by Csikszentmihalyi in 1975. The DFS, developed in the realm of sports psychology, has primarily been used with participants of urban sports settings, such as: football, running, or tennis. This study explores the validity and reliability of applying the DFS to outdoor recreation activities. A stratified sample of 406 visitors to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Montana was contacted during the summer of 2004. A survey response rate of 74 percent was achieved with on-site contact, mail back questionnaires, follow-up reminder postcards, and replacement mailing. The primary activities reported were hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. Results from confirmatory factor analysis, a special application of structural equation modeling, confirm that the DFS displays a satisfactory level of validity and reliability when applied to these activities.