Prior studies have challenged the notion that recreationists progress along the specialization continuum over time. Using a sample of 443 Korean hikers, this study aimed to determine whether the relationship of specialization to leisure involvement, leisure satisfaction, and happiness is linear or curvilinear. Further, we examined the potential moderating effect of specialization on the relationship between leisure satisfaction and happiness. Results indicated that hikers showed greater specialization as their behavioral involvement increased to a certain point, beyond which specialization decreased. There were also inverted U-shape curvilinear relationships of specialization to levels of leisure satisfaction and happiness. Moreover, there was a significant moderating effect of specialization on the relationship between leisure satisfaction and happiness. Our findings provide deeper insights into the relationship between specialization, leisure satisfaction, and happiness among hikers. Furthermore, managerial implications for public leisure agencies to improve leisure satisfaction and psychological well-being of hikers were discussed.
- Korean hikers
- Leisure satisfaction
- Recreation specialization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management