John  Dattilo 

photo of John Dattilo


Contact Information

814A Donald H. Ford Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802


(fax) 814-867-1751


1984 Ph.D., University of Illinois Leisure Studies
1981 M.S., University of Arizona Recreation
1977 B.S., Penn State Recreation and Parks
1977 B.S., Penn State Education of Exceptional Children

Research Interests

Effects of interventions on self-determination of people with disabilities and older adults relative to their leisure involvement

Selected Publications

Dattilo, J., & Williams, R. (2012). Some thoughts about leisure education, therapeutic recreation, and the philosophy of Spiderman. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 26(1), 1-8.


Dattilo, J., & Rusch, F. (2012). Teaching problem solving to promote self-determined leisure engagement. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 26(2), 91-105.

Dattilo, J., & McKinney, A. (2011). Facilitation techniques in therapeutic recreation (2nd edition). State College, PA: Venture.

Garcia-Villamisar, D., & Dattilo, J. (2011). Social and clinical effects of a leisure program on adults with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorder, 5, 246-253.

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Weybright, E. H., Dattilo, J., & Rusch, F. (2010). Effects of an interactive video game (Nintendo Wii™) on older women with a mild cognitive impairment. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 44(4), 271-287.

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Dattilo, J., & Hoge, G. Project Trail: Leisure assessment battery for people with cognitive impairements.

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Dattilo, J., Benedek-Wood, E., & McLeod, L. (2010). Activity brings community into our lives": Recreation, Leisure, and Community Participation for Individuals Who Use AAC. In D. McNaughton & D. Beukelman. Transition Strategies for Adolescents and Young Adults Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (pp. 131-144). Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co

Garcia-Villamisar, D., & Dattilo, J. (2010). Effects of a leisure programme on quality of life and stress of individuals with ASD. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54(7), 611-619. 

Farhney, S., Kelley, C., Dattilo, J., & Rusch, F. (2010). Effects of goal setting on the physical activity of walkers with osteoarthritis. Therapeutic Recreation Journal. 44, 87-104.

Dattilo, J. (2008). Leisure education program planning (3rd edition). State College, PA: Venture Publishing.

Courses Taught

RPTM 277 Inclusive Leisure Services

RPTM 486 Therapeutic Recreation Facilitation Techniques

RPTM 545 Philosophical and Social Basis of Leisure

RPTM 570 Conceptual Bases for Therapeutic Recreation

RPTM 597A RPTM Issues in Highes Education

Strategic Themes

  • Domains of Health and Behavior
  • Populations of Special Interest