DEMOGRAPHIC CORRELATES OF RECREATIONAL PURSUITS AMONG STUDENTS OF FEDERAL COLLEGES OF EDUCATION
Background of the Study
In every culture, there are hours when people are not required to engage in paid work, household chores, or schoolwork. Jones, Kennaugh, and Ross (1996) revealed that the hours available to individuals when the disciplines of work, sleep, and other basic necessities have been met are referred to as leisure time. Opadiji (2002) stated that people need to make time for the kind of activity that will help them to recreate their mind and body. Uti and Ojeme (2003) maintained that everyone must have time for work and time for leisure. The amount of leisure available to people has now
increased through the invention of much modern time-saving devices (Ward, Higson
& Campbell 1994). It is during the leisure hours according to Ehanmo (1995) that people especially students engage in wholesome activities of interest which their academic engagement denies them off. In other words, the students have complete
choice of what to do during their leisure time, recreation, therefore, has become a
veritable life pursuits that can help the students to spend their time and energy in the most satisfying and refreshing manner.
Nwankwo (1988) viewed recreation as socially acceptable activities voluntarily engaged in during one’s free or leisure time which is worthwhile and gives satisfaction. Okafor (1988) added that recreation is a playful and relaxing activity outside one’s professional area of specialization. He revealed further that recreation is aimed at occupying the participant in activities and manners different from his occupational duties. Recreation according to Umeakuka (2002) is a wide range of activities acceptable to the society in which people voluntarily engage during their leisure time because of the satisfaction they receive from doing it. Those activities are
also referred to as their pursuits.
A pursuit, therefore, is referred to as any activity which one gives his time
(Walkins and Watkins 1990). Geddas and Grosset (2005) viewed pursuits as pastime activities. From the foregoing submission, recreational pursuits could be described as activities one is involved in during recreation. Opadiji (2002) disclosed that there are various forms of recreational activities that constitute students’ recreational pursuits. The common recreational activities according to Uti and Ojeme (2003)
include gardening, campfire, fishing, dancing, listening to music, canoeing, hiking,
craft and artwork, visiting, swimming, field trip, and picnics. In a similar vein, Kpum and Egwu (2006) held that in order to help students develop their talents, abilities, and potentialities to the fullest, schools should establish and encourage the students to enroll in such recreational activities like chess, habitat, philatelic, speech and debating, photography, music, literacy, jet club, and brain cracker among others.
Siedentop (1998) revealed the values inherent in recreational pursuits. He contended that recreation enables college students to achieve physical grace psychological ease and personal integrity. Ottong and Charles (2000) reiterated that
recreation provides the major channel of youth development through civic education,
leadership training, character building, and community service. Quality recreation and
general physical activities have beneficial effects on students’ psychological well
being, self-esteem, overweight, and obesity (Cavil, Biddle and Sallis 2001).
Mclaughlin (2002) stated that adolescent students who participate regularly in community-based recreational programs experience better academic and social outcomes including higher grades and career aspirations. Recreational pursuits according to Vansteenkistle, Simons, and Kens (2004) are associated with the increased effort in performance and persistence in doing things that contribute to the successful accomplishment of school work. Oke (2006) acknowledged the buffering effects and opportunities for social support inherent in recreation. He pointed out that recreational
pursuits provide opportunities for students to discuss matters that affect their common interests and life situations.
Despite the fact that an active recreational lifestyle is associated with positive health and social benefit, there exist some factors that are known to have a great influence on the effective participation of students in recreational pursuits.
Demographic variables have been identified as common variables that influence the students’ effective participation in recreational pursuits. More so, the influence has
been more particularly pronounced among the students of Federal College of
Education in North Central Zone of Nigeria.
Sills (1972) stated that demography is concerned with the population structure consisting of age, sex, marital composition, and other factors. Goetz (2005)
contended that demography refers to the statistical study of the human population especially with reference to the size and density, distribution, and vital statistics of birth, marriage, death, and diseases. Welk (1999) held that recreation is a multi-
factorial behavior that is influenced by psychological, social, environmental, and demographic variables. This study is meant to ascertain the demographic factors influencing the students’ recreational pursuits. Therefore demography, as applied to this study, has to do with the social and population characteristics (dynamics) of the students which correlate with their recreational pursuits. Specifically, the study will investigate the demographic variables (factors) of age, gender, religious affiliation,
year of study, and the marital status of the students and their influence on recreational pursuits.
London Social Survey Division (1986) pointed out that there is a general decline in active recreational pursuits with increasing age. The survey further submitted that some home-based activities such as gardening, art, and craftwork among others are most popular among the middle-aged. Torkildson (1992) contended that age has an important influence on students’ recreational pursuits but the effects according to him depend on the individual and the type of activities. Activities differ in strength and specialized skills they require. Sleap and Tolfrey (2001) discovered that young students are more active when the cumulative activity of a less stringent intensity threshold is incorporated into their recreational program. The desire for new activity varies within the age group. People in their mid-adult years and the baby boomers have different recreational experiences and skills than what their parents did at that age (Warnick 1987). Jackson (1989) found out that students who are currently quite active are often more likely to desire a new activity than young students with lower levels of activity. This is irrespective of the type of recreational activity.
The type of recreational pursuit is also influenced by marital status. Single students are more likely to go dancing or club while married people are more likely to visit the seaside (Torkildson, 1992). Also, single students are more disposed to encountering variety with much more freedom in the choice of activities than the married who have to contend with the family chores in addition to recreational pursuits.
Gregory (1993) revealed that married women integrate recreation with family and community obligation as well as paid employment. Lawton, Ahmad, Hanna, Douglas, and Hallowell (2006) reported that many married Indians and Parkistan complained of how domestic chores and other family responsibilities pose great restrictions to their leisure pursuit.
The issue of gender in recreational pursuits has generated a lot of controversy and misconception. Anyanwu (1980) maintained that the pattern of women’s participation in recreation has all along been punctuated by a lot of cultural practice,
false assumptions, prejudice, and even myth. According to him, right from time, male superiority over the female has been part of the culture of the society. Dubois (1990)
added that male and female students shift orientation on the range of value depending on the activity structure. Harold (1991) reported that college girls see themselves as less able in sports and physical recreation while boys recognize them as a channel of acquiring popularity. Greendorfer (1992) led credence to the earlier claim with a
submission that gender differences in a variety of behavioral preferences and styles of living in the outcome of the socialization pattern of the society. Trost and Ward (1999)
remarked that the interest and activity level of college girls decline at a greater rate than the boys. Despite the persistent male dominance, Dada (2005) observed that Nigerian women including college girls have steadily continued to make an impact in recreational pursuits.
In addition to the gender factor, religious affiliation is known to have a considerable influence on the recreational pursuits of the students in various dimensions. Most forms of individual religious experiences such as contemplation, meditation, and prayer have been closely associated with some form of recreation involving rest, relaxation, and personal renewal. Dahl (1972) revealed that many of the common religious activities such as ceremonies, festivals, revivals, pilgrimages, retreats, and conferences have provided opportunities for both quality recreational interaction and disciplined self-expression. He maintained that religion is a very significant factor in motivating people to spend their leisure in voluntary service. It also encourages personal dedication and discipline with which people engage in sports, craft, and travel. The
two common religious groups which the students identify with are Christianity and
Bucher (1979) held that early Christianity never allowed physical education and recreation to be part of the school curriculum. He also pointed out that Puritan in the
The United States denounced recreation as unnecessary and evil. Benneth, Howell and
Simri (1983) revealed that Islam forbids co-recreational activities and it also requires girls at the age of puberty to wear long dresses and cover their faces whenever they appear in public. Hordges (2001) revealed that some students’ opportunities for participation in recreational activities are usually restricted due to religious and cultural beliefs. More worrisome is the practice of the purdah system among the Muslim community in Northern Nigeria which is the extreme form of exclusion or denial of participation and right of a woman (Abubakar 1990). Islam and Christianity believe in body mortification through self-denial and nutritional abstinence which have a negative impact on comprehensive recreational pursuits Kraus (1982). In spite of this, Ogu and
Umeakuka (2005) recognized religious affiliation and recreation as agents of social rejuvenation. Today’s religious festivals exhibited through dance, choreography,
biblical and quranic recitation, choral songs, music, stories, volunteering, and
counseling have advanced the course of recreational pursuits prevalent among
Christian and Muslim students as well as other adherents.
Furthermore, students’ year of study is closely related to their recreational pursuits. It is discovered that students of the colleges who are in their final year of study are more preoccupied with their academic pursuits than other students. Heath,
Pratt, Warren, and Kann (1994) remarked that as students move towards graduation a
A disturbing decline in participation in community recreational programs and vigorous activity is observed. Rees, Kavanagh, Harden, Shepherd, Brunton, Oliver and Oakley
(2006) held that the complex interrelationship between personal identity and educational status and degree of support from the social environment correlates with the recreational pursuits of the students. Dike (2005) confirmed that lifestyle factors like academic pressure on the students and the determination of the students to do well in the examination due to the current emphasis on paper qualification have kept many students of the college busier in academics than necessary.
It was discovered that many students in the colleges do not participate very well in most recreational pursuits. What are the factors that are responsible for poor participation in recreational pursuits among the students? Nwagu (2006) opined that the success of any program to a large extent depends on the identification of the factors that are susceptible to its intervention. As no study has been conducted on the recreational pursuits of the students with the view of identifying the variables that influence their recreational pursuits, demographic variables are most likely to serve this predictive function in the college, hence the study is considered timely and worthwhile.
Statement of the Problem
The students of Federal Colleges of Education in the North Central Zone of
Nigeria appears not to have shown demonstrable interest in recreational pursuits in spite of the availability of some recreational facilities in their colleges. Amusa
(1986) observed that there are some people that will not participate in spite of the availability of recreational facilities at their doorstep. Ha (1990) equally revealed that students rarely engaged in any recreation in their space-time. Pinto and Marcus (1995)
reported that many students of today are not adequately involved in a regular refreshing exercise regimen.
This situation is however in contrast with an ideal comprehensive recreational pursuit in college. College recreation should provide the opportunity for college students to effectively balance their academic pursuits with their leisure time activities in such a manner that will ensure a quality lifestyle. Kraus (1982) submitted that recreational pursuits should be administered in such a way that the potentials of the students will be fully realized. With a large block of time consisting of weekends,
holidays, lecture-free days, sports and extra-curricular activities schedule, etc available to the students, one would have expected that there should be great participation in recreational pursuits. More so, the recent upgrading of some sports facilities in the colleges would have caused positive and improved participation of the students but the reverse appears to be the case.
Certainly, the above expositions indicated the existence of a serious unsatisfactory recreational pursuit in the colleges. Yet it is not known of those correlates (factors) that account for poor participation of the students in recreational pursuits. But the question remains whether there are some particular individual characteristics (dynamics) among the students that can also influence their participation in recreational pursuits. Therefore it seems inevitable that students' demographic correlates consisting of age, gender, year of study, religious affiliation, and marital status be investigated to ascertain the influence on their recreational pursuits. The study becomes more imperative as no study to the best of the
researcher’s knowledge has been conducted on the demographic correlates of recreational pursuits among Students of Federal Colleges of Education in North
Central Zone of Nigeria.
Purpose of the Study
This study was designed to identify the demographic correlates of recreational pursuits among the students of Federal Colleges of Education in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to establish the
relationship between age and the students’ recreational pursuits
relationship between gender and the students’ recreational pursuits.
relationship between year of study (educational level) and the students’
4. relationship between religious affiliation and the students’ recreational pursuits.
5. relationship between marital status and the students’ recreational pursuits.
The following research questions were posed to guide the study
1. What is the relationship between age and the students’ recreational pursuits?
2. What is the relationship between gender and the students’ recreational pursuits?
3. What is the relationship between year of study (educational level) and the students’ recreational pursuits?
4. What is the relationship between religious affiliation and the students’
5. What is the relationship between marital status and the students’ recreational pursuits?
The following hypotheses were posed to guide the study and each of them was
tested at a .05 level of significance.
1). There is no statistically significant relationship between age and the recreational
pursuits of the students of Federal Colleges of Education in North Central Zone
2). Gender has no statistically significant relationship with the recreational pursuit
of students of Federal Colleges of Education in North Central Zone of Nigeria
3. The students’ year of study in the college has no statistically significant
relationship with their recreational pursuits.
4. Religious affiliation has no statistically significant relationship with the
recreational pursuits of students of Federal Colleges of Education in North
Central Zone of Nigeria
5. There is no statistically significant relationship between marital status and the
recreational pursuits of students of Federal Colleges of Education in North
Central Zone of Nigeria
6. The regression of students’ age, gender, year of study, religious affiliation and
marital status on their recreational pursuits is not statistically significant.
Significance of the Study
A study of this kind will be useful in many ways. The finding showed that students of Federal Colleges of Education in the North Central Zone of Nigeria rarely engage in recreational pursuits. This information will be useful to college authorities and all those interested in recreational pursuits. The knowledge that some students
rarely engage in recreational pursuits and not very often as it ought to suggest to all the stakeholders in the recreation profession need to intensify effort towards devising strategies for improvement in recreational pursuits.
The study also revealed that the age of the students is a significant predictor of students’ recreational pursuits. It was discovered that active recreational pursuits peaks at a certain age (29-30 years) and decline with an increase in age. This finding will assist the college authorities and service providers to select and modify the activities that will suit the various ages of the students. Also offering recreational opportunities
that have carry-over values will ensure continuous participation and development of
life-long recreational skills.
The study equally showed that students’ gender is a significant predictor of their recreational pursuits. The study revealed that in spite of some few activities that are mainly dominated by female, male students generally show more interest and participated more in recreational pursuits than the female students. This information will task the college authorities, gender bodies, and physical educators to find a means of removing those prejudices and misconceptions that constitute barriers to female participation in recreation. It will further task the curriculum planner in designing the
program of activities that will suit not only the individual gender needs but ensure balance co-recreational pursuits.
The study revealed that year of study is not a significant predictor of students’
recreational pursuits. The knowledge of this will help the school authority and recreational administrator to ensure that equal attention is given to all the students in recreational participation irrespective of their years of study in the college.
The study showed that religious affiliation is a significant predictor of the extent of students’ recreational pursuits. The finding revealed that religion has a significant influence on students' participation in recreation. The college authority and service provider will be guided by this finding in the provision of recreational opportunities and experiences that will be accepted and supported by the entire religious groups. More
so, the information contained therein will task the recreation practitioners and school
authority to sensitize the religious leaders, teachers, parents, and students on the ideals
and philosophies of recreation. It will remove the misconception and superstitious
beliefs and other practices that negate students’ participation in recreation.
The study equally showed that marital status is a significant predictor of students’
recreational pursuits. It was found that single students have varied and wider recreational engagement when compared with married who have to contend with recreation in addition to family chores. This finding will guide the college authority to design a program of action that integrates the recreation into family chores in a manner that will further preserve the family values and responsibilities.
Scope of the Study
This study was delimited to the demographic correlates of recreational pursuits among students of Federal Colleges of Education in North Central Zone in Nigeria. The study examined in particular the following demographic variables of age, gender, year of study (educational level), religious affiliation, and marital status were identified in the literature as capable of influencing the recreational pursuits of the regular students of the college.
Besides, the study was also delimited to all the Federal Colleges of Education in North
Central Zone of Nigeria. The North Central Zone of Nigeria is made up of six states. They are
Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, and Niger State. These states are located in the middle belt region of Nigeria. There are only three Federal Colleges of Education in the North Central Zone of Nigeria. They are Federal College of Education Okene, Kogi State; Federal College of
Education Pakshin, Plateau State and Federal College of Education Kotangora, Niger State.
More so, the study was delimited to the entire regular students of the three Federal
Colleges of Education in North Central Zone of Nigeria with a total number of 21,203 students.
Furthermore, the study was also delimited to the total fourteen clusters of recreational pursuits
(activities) which the students are known to engage in during their leisure time. (Snepenzer and
Check (1982), Ajala, Amusa, and Sohi (1989), Umeakuka (1997), and Uti and Ojeme (2003) )..