The Leisure of Young Adults: Exploring health and leisure links and how leisure is used to relieve a bored or depressed mood state

Han, Ji-Sook (2007). The Leisure of Young Adults: Exploring health and leisure links and how leisure is used to relieve a bored or depressed mood state PhD Thesis, School of Tourism , University of Queensland.

       
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Author Han, Ji-Sook
Thesis Title The Leisure of Young Adults: Exploring health and leisure links and how leisure is used to relieve a bored or depressed mood state
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Ian Patterson
Abstract/Summary Young people’s experience of boredom and/or depression is often reported as a negative factor that influences their health. Although leisure has a number of psychological benefits that have the potential to assist young people to cope with their negative mood states, there has been little research to investigate how these benefits are utilised in their daily life. From this perspective, this study explored the role that leisure plays in relieving boredom and depression of young adults and how their health status is linked to the leisure behaviours. The question of how leisure involves young adults when they attempt to relieve a bored and/or depressed mood state was firstly explored through focus group interviews. Secondly, a questionnaire survey was conducted using a total of 433 university students to investigate the different characteristics associated with their leisure behaviours and to determine their relationships with health related variables. Other related leisure and psychological variables were tested to search for the positive factors that contributed to their healthy leisure participation and to provide relief from their boredom and/or depression states. The results demonstrated that the high frequency types of leisure that young adults participated in to relieve a bored or depressed mood state were casual, unstructured or passive home types of leisure such as listening to music, watching TV, surfing the Internet, going out with friends, eating, doing nothing, or sleeping. Other positive leisure types were also identified in the middle ranking of choice. These included sports and physical activities, outdoor activities, travel, creative activities, housework and school related reading. In addition, other types of risky health leisure involvement such as drinking, smoking, and/or drug use were identified at a lower ranking. Factor analysis further demonstrated that there were eight boredom relief leisure types – ‘active ⋅ social,’ ‘work related,’ ‘creative,’ ‘sports ⋅ physical,’ ‘outdoor travel,’ ‘casual,’ ‘passive technology’ and ‘passive home’ leisure. Similarly, eight depression relief leisure types were also identified - ‘active ⋅ social,’ ‘work related,’ ‘sports ⋅ physical,’ ‘creative,’ ‘outdoor travel,’ ‘relaxing,’ ‘deviant’ and ‘passive technology’ leisure. Similarities as well as differences were found between young adults’ boredom and depression relief leisure behaviour, while gender differences were identified in both boredom and depression relief leisure behaviour. Significant relationships were verified between young adults’ leisure behaviour that was engaged in to relieve a bored and/or depressed mood state and their health. Positive, active or healthy leisure behaviour engaged in to relieve boredom or depression (e.g., active ⋅ social, work related, creative, sports ⋅ physical, or outdoor travel leisure participation) was found to positively influence health. On the other hand, comparatively negative, passive or unhealthy types of leisure behaviour engaged in to relieve a bored and/or depressed mood state (e.g., passive home, passive technology, deviant, or relaxing leisure) were found to have a negative impact on a young person’s health. Leisure awareness was identified as a significant positive factor for wise leisure behaviour in relieving boredom and/or depression. Practical leisure awareness (leisure skills or wise leisure participation) had a stronger impact than the cognitive or attitudinal variables (knowledge of leisure or leisure attitudes). The leisure behaviour that was engaged in to relieve boredom and/or depression also had a significant relationship with several psychological variables. Positive or healthy types of leisure behaviour used to relieve boredom or depression were positively related to higher negative mood regulation and a lower level of experiencing boredom or depression. Empirical models of leisure, health and psychological variables were developed in which the levels of impact of each study variable on health variables were demonstrated. Leisure awareness was found to have a stronger impact than other variables on both psychological wellbeing and perceived health. Negative or unhealthy boredom or depression relief leisure behaviour factors such as passive home, passive technology, deviant or relaxing leisure were found to have a stronger negative impact on both psychological wellbeing and perceived health than others. However, ‘sports ⋅ physical’ boredom or depression relief leisure behaviour factor had a stronger positive impact on perceived health. Young adults’ leisure styles that are engaged in to relieve a bored or depressed mood state were also explored. Five boredom relief leisure styles were identified as ‘creative,’ ‘work related,’ ‘multiple,’ ‘active’ and ‘passive’ and four depression relief leisure styles identified as ‘inactive,’ ‘deviant,’ ‘work related’ and ‘active.’ Significant differences in leisure, health and psychological variables were demonstrated according to different leisure involvement styles.

 
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 16:25:30 EST