Advertisement

The relationship between leisure and life satisfaction: application of activity and need theory

  • Ariel RodríguezEmail author
  • Pavlína Látková
  • Ya-Yen Sun
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to better understand the complex relationship between leisure and life satisfaction. Components of two distinct, but potentially integrative, theoretical frameworks (i.e., activity theory and need theory) predicting the relationship between leisure and life satisfaction were tested with a sample of residents from a Midwestern community (n = 633). Findings provided support for both theoretical perspectives, but stronger relationships were found between satisfied needs than with participated activities. In spite of these findings, the various inconsistencies within the two theoretical frameworks suggest that future research is needed.

Keywords

Leisure Activity theory Need theory Life satisfaction 

References

  1. Baker, D. A., & Palmer, R. J. (2006). Examining the effects of perceptions of community and recreation participation on quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 75, 395–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Biddle, S. J. H., Fox, K. R., & Boutcher, S. H. (Eds.) (2000). Physical activity and psychological well-being. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Burnett-Wolle, S., & Godbey, G. (2005). Activity aging 101. Parks & Recreation, 40(3), 30–40.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, A. (1981). The sense of well-being in America: Recent patterns and trends. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Google Scholar
  6. Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16(3), 297–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cummins, R. A. (1996). The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos. Social Indicators Research, 38, 303–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dear, K., Henderson, S., & Korten, A. (2002). Well-being in Australia: Findings from the National Survey of Mental Health and Well-being. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 37, 503–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1995). Human autonomy as the basis for true self-esteem. In: M. H. Kernis (Ed.), Efficiency, agency, and self-esteem (pp. 31–47). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  10. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95(3), 542–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55(1), 34–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larson, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Diener, E., & Lucas, R. E. (2000). Explaining differences in societal levels of happiness: Relative standards, need fulfillment, culture, and evaluation theory. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 41–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Driver, B. L., Tinsley, H. E. A., & Manfredo, M. J. (1991). The paragraphs about leisure and recreation experience preference scales: Results from two inventories designed to assess the breadth of the perceived psychological benefits of leisure. In: B. L. Driver, P. Brown, & G. L. Peterson (Eds.), Benefits of leisure (pp. 263–286). State College, PA: Venture Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  17. Everard, K. M. (1999). The relationship between reasons for activity and older adult well-being. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 18(3), 325–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Feist, G. J., Bodner, T. E., Jacobs, J. F., Miles, M., & Tan, V. (1995). Integrating top-down and bottom-up structural models of subjective well-being: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68(1), 138–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fernandez-Ballesteros, R., Zamarron, M. D., & Ruiz, M. A. (2001). The contribution of socio-demographic and psychosocial factors to life satisfaction. Ageing & Society, 21, 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fox, K. R., Boutcher, S. H., Faulkner, G. E., & Biddle, S. J. H. (2000). The case for exercise in the promotion of mental health, psychological well-being. In: S. J. H. Biddle, K. R. Fox, & S. H. Boutcher (Eds.), Physical activity and psychological well-being (pp. 1–9). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Havighurst, R. J. (1961). Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 1(1), 8–13.Google Scholar
  22. Headey, B., Veenhoven, R., & Wearing, A. (1991). Top-down versus bottom-up theories of subjective well-being. Social Indicators Research, 24, 81–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Iwasaki, Y. (2006). Leisure and quality of life in an international and multicultural context: What are major pathways linking leisure to quality of life? Social Indicators Research.Google Scholar
  24. King, L. A., Richards, J. H., & Stemmerich, E. (1998). Daily goals, life goals, and worst fears: Means, ends, and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality, 66(5), 713–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Larson, R. J., Diener, E., & Emmons, R. A. (1985). An evaluation of subjective well-being measures. Social Indicators Research, 17, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lemon, B. W., Bengtson, V. L., & Peterson, J. A. (1972). An exploration of the activity theory of aging: Activity types and life satisfaction among in-movers to a retirement community. Journal of Gerontology, 27(4), 511–523.Google Scholar
  27. Leung, L., & Lee, P. S. N. (2005). Multiple determinants of life quality: The roles of Internet activities, use of new media, social support, and leisure activities. Telematics and Informatics, 22(3), 161–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lloyd, K. M., & Auld, C. J. (2002). The role of leisure in determining quality of life: Issues of content and measurement. Social Indicators Research, 57, 43–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Longino, C. F., & Kart, C. S. (1982). Explicating activity theory: A formal replication. Journal of Gerontology, 37(6), 713–722.Google Scholar
  30. Manfredo, M. J., Driver, B. L., & Tarrant, M. A. (1996). Measuring leisure motivation: A meta-analysis of the recreation experience preference scales. Journal of Leisure Research, 28, 188–213.Google Scholar
  31. Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  32. Melin, R., Fugl-Meyer, K. S., & Fugl-Meyer, A. R. (2003). Life satisfaction in 18- to 64-year-old Swedes: In relation to education, employment situation, health and physical activity. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 35(2), 84–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Menec, V. H. (2003). The relation between everyday activities and successful aging: A 6-year longitudinal study. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58(2), S74–S82.Google Scholar
  34. Menec, V. H., & Chipperfield, J. G. (1997). Remaining active in later life: The role of locus of control in seniors’ leisure activity participation, health, and life satisfaction. Journal of Aging and Health, 9(1), 105–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Miilunpalo, S. (2001). Evidence and theory based promotion of health-enhancing physical activity. Public Health Nutrition, 4(2B), 725–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Murray, H. (1938). Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Myers, D. G., & Diener, E. (1995). Who is happy? Psychological Science, 6(1), 10–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pavot, W., & Diener, E. (1993). Review of the satisfaction with life scale. Psychological Assessment, 5(2), 164–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rosenthal, D. H., Driver, B. L., & Waldman, D. (1982). Construct validity of instruments measuring recreationists’ preferences. Leisure Sciences, 5(2), 89–108.Google Scholar
  40. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schnohr, P., Kristensen, T. S., Prescott, E., & Scharling, H. (2005). Stress and life dissatisfaction are inversely associated with jogging and other types of physical activity in leisure time: The Copenhagen City Heart Study. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 15(2), 107–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sheldon, K. M., Elliot, A. J., Kim, Y., & Kasser, T. (2001). What is satisfying about satisfying events? Testing 10 candidate psychological needs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(2), 325–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shevlin, M. E., Brunsden, V., & Miles, J. N. V. (1998). Satisfaction with life scale: Analysis of factorial invariance, mean structures and reliability. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 911–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shevlin, M. E., & Bunting, B. E. (1994). Confirmatory factor analysis of the satisfaction with life scale. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 79, 1316–1318.Google Scholar
  45. Sirgy, J. M., Michalos, A. C., Ferriss, A. L., Easterlin, R. A., Patrick, D., & Pavot, W. (2006). The quality-of-life (QOL) research movement: Past, present, and future. Social Indicators Research, 76, 343–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tinsley, H. E. A., Driver, B. L., & Kass, R. A. (1982). Reliability and concurrent validity of the recreation experience preference scales. Journal of Educational and Psychological Measurement, 41(3), 897–907.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tinsley, H. E. A., & Eldredge, B. D. (1995). Psychological benefits of leisure participation: A taxonomy of leisure activities based on their need-gratifying properties. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 42(2), 123–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tinsley, H. E. A., & Tinsley, D. J. (1986). A theory of the attributes, benefits, and causes of leisure experience. Leisure Sciences, 8(1), 1–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Vittersø, J. (2003). Flow versus life satisfaction: A projective use of cartoons to illustrate the difference between the evaluation approach and the intrinsic motivation approach to subjective quality of life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4, 141–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wankel, L. M., & Berger, B. G. (1990). The psychological and social benefits of sport and physical activity. Journal of Leisure Research, 22(2), 167–182.Google Scholar
  51. Wankel, L. M., & Berger, B. G. (1991). The personal and social benefits of sport and physical activity. In: B. L. Driver, P. J. Brown, & G. L. Peterson (Eds.), Benefits of leisure (pp. 121–144). State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariel Rodríguez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pavlína Látková
    • 2
  • Ya-Yen Sun
    • 3
  1. 1.Tourism, Recreation, and Sport ManagementUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation & Resource Studies (CARRS)Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Leisure StudiesNational University of KaohsiungKaohsiungTaiwan

Personalised recommendations