Benjamin D. Hickerson 

photo of Benjamin Hickerson

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

704M Donald H. Ford Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-867-1751


Ph.D., Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, North Carolina State University
M.S., Recreation Administration, Illinois State University
B.S., Business Administration, Illinois State University

Research Interests

Youth and emerging adult leisure behavior, Social and psychological aspects of video game play, Social and ecological correlates of health and wellness in recreation environments

Selected Publications

Finke, E., Hickerson, B., & McLaughlin, E. (2015). Parental intention to support video game play by children with autism spectrum disorder: An application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 46(2), 154-165. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-13-0080

Hickerson, B., Finke, E., & Choi, Y. (2014). Enduring leisure involvement and children with autism spectrum disorder: Validation of a parent-reported involvement scale. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 48(1), 31-45.

Hickerson, B., & Henderson, K. A. (2014). Opportunities for youth physical activity promotion: An examination of youth summer camps. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11(1), 199-205. doi:10.1123/jpah.2011-0263

Purrington, A., & Hickerson, B. (2013). Leisure as a cross-cultural concept. World Leisure Journal, 55(2), 125-137. doi: 10.1080/04419057.2013.782564

Mowen, A., Hickerson, B., & Kaczynski, A. (2013). Beyond the ribbon cutting: The impact of a neighborhood park renovation on visitor experiences, behaviors, and evaluations. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 31(1), 55-77.

Hickerson, B., & Mowen, A. (2012). Behavioral and psychological involvement of online video gamers: Building blocks or building walls to socialization? Society & Leisure, 35(1), 79-103. doi:10.1080/07053436.2012.10707836

Bialeschki, M. D., Henderson, K. A., Hickerson, B., & Browne, L. (2012). Challenges to field-based outdoor research: Pitfalls and possibilities. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 4(1), 74-83. doi: 10.7768/1948-5123.1094

Hickerson, B. (2011). Measuring physical activity in youth settings: Considerations for instrument selection. Journal of Youth Development, 6(4), 92-101.

Courses Taught

RPTM 277 Recreation for Persons with Disabilities

RPTM 334 Non-profit Recreation Agency Operations

RPTM 460 Political and Legal Aspects of Recreation Services

RPTM 499 Foreign Studies

RPTM 501 Leisure Studies Foundations

Strategic Themes

  • Domains of Health and Behavior
  • Contexts and Social Institutions