Understanding the intentions of families with a child with autism to participate in a family recreation program: A pilot study


  • Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS
  • Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS




family recreation, autism, leisure attitudes, reasoned action approach, recreational therapy


Family systems theory and the Core and Balance Model of Family Leisure Functioning are useful frameworks that can provide guidance in the development of family recreation services for families with children with autism. These families may experience positive and successful outcomes from family leisure participation, yet few family recreation programs exist that can appropriately accommodate their needs. A Web-based study was conducted following the principles of the reasoned action approach to understand the beliefs and intentions surrounding participation in a family recreation program. Findings revealed that families have high intentions to participate, as well as positive attitudes toward participation. This information can prove useful to recreational therapy service providers as they consider developing family services.

Author Biographies

Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS

Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi, University, Mississippi.

Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS

Associate Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.


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How to Cite

Townsend, PhD, CTRS, J., & Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, M. (2013). Understanding the intentions of families with a child with autism to participate in a family recreation program: A pilot study. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 12(1), 16–22. https://doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2013.0036




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