Skateboarding has become a highly visible and popular activity. However, many negative stereotypes remain associated with the activity and its participants (Jones & Graves, 2000). In contrast to the negative stereotypes, skateboarding seems to provide many individuals, and youth in particular, with an important outlet for physical activity, leisure, and personal development. The purpose of this study was to investigate why skateboarders chose to visit skateboard parks, to identify outcomes of participating in skateboarding at skateboard parks, and to identify the underlying values that guide skateboarders’ choice of this specific setting. The conceptual framework for the reported study was provided by a means-end model, which views values as the key force influencing an individual’s decision to engage in a particular behavior (Gutman, 1982; Manyiwa & Crawford, 2002). The results indicate that this sample of skateboarders received a number of important benefits and, despite stereotypical views, may seek positive outcomes through skateboarding at skateboard parks. A socio-ecological model and a positive youth development framework provide a platform for interpreting the results and implications.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mgoldenb/1/