Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 1763–1773 | Cite as

Perceptions of Adequate Personal Time and Wellbeing among African American Families with Adolescents

  • Mia BudescuEmail author
  • Amanda Sisselman-Borgia
  • Ronald D. Taylor
Original Paper


The current study examines the perception of adequate personal or leisure time, and its association with family and caregiver functioning, among a sample of low-income African American families. The investigation is grounded in Conservation of Resources (COR) theory which predicts that caregivers who perceive more adequate personal time will also report higher levels of optimism and lower levels of depressive symptoms, and will have adolescents who report more household routines and less psychologically controlling parenting. A total of 115 caregiver-adolescent (age 14–18) dyads were recruited from a low-income, predominantly African American neighborhood in a major metropolitan center in the United States as part of a larger survey on African American family life. Results indicate that caregivers report perceiving inadequate amounts of time to sleep, get enough exercise, and relax. Caregivers also report comparatively less adequate personal time than time with children. Analyses reveal that caregivers who perceive having more adequate leisure or personal time, report fewer depressive symptoms and higher levels of optimism, after controlling for perceptions of adequate financial resources. Alternatively, there was no association between perceptions of free or leisure time and parenting behaviors, including maintenance of household routines and the use of psychological control. The results underscore the need to examine non-material resources, and their association with wellbeing.


Families Adolescents Leisure time Parenting Wellbeing 


Author Contributions

M.B.: Analyzed the data and wrote the paper. A.S.B.: Collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. R.D.T.: Designed and executed the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. IRB approval was received from Temple University (Philadelphia) under an expedited review process.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. All adolescents under the age of 18 had to obtain their caregivers’ consent to participate in the study. Once caregiver consent was obtained, adolescents were read a consent form out loud and asked to provide their verbal assent to participate in the study. Caregivers were given a consent form to sign and read, explaining the risks and benefits associated with participation. Adolescent assent was obtained in a separate room from their caregivers, so that they did not feel coerced into participating.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mia Budescu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amanda Sisselman-Borgia
    • 2
  • Ronald D. Taylor
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLehman CollegeBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social WorkLehman CollegeBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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