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Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 557–572 | Cite as

How Do Leisure Activities Impact on Life Satisfaction? Evidence for German People with Disabilities

  • Ricardo PagánEmail author
Article

Abstract

This study analyses the effect of participating in leisure activities on the levels of life satisfaction reported by people with and without disabilities. Particular attention is paid to exploring how different types of leisure activities (e.g. social gatherings, cultural events, active sports, volunteer work, etc.) affect individuals’ life satisfaction and which of them contribute most to improving it. Using longitudinal data at an individual level from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we estimate a “Probit Adapted OLS (POLS)” model which allows us to identity the determinants of life satisfaction by disability status and to control for the unobserved heterogeneity and thus determine cause and effect between the key variables. Although participation in leisure activities increases the life satisfaction scores reported by people with disabilities (except for the participation in public initiatives), this effect is quite different by leisure activity. The participation in leisure activities such as holidays, going out, or attending cultural events and church has a significant positive effect on the life satisfaction of people with disabilities. Event organizers, destination managers, business owners, professionals, governments, and the leisure industry in general must promote and facilitate full access and participation of people with disabilities in all leisure activities, especially in those that contribute more intensely to increasing their life satisfaction scores. The elimination of all disabling barriers, the understanding of their differential needs and the existence of inclusive leisure environments are key elements for improving the life satisfaction of people with disabilities.

Keywords

Leisure activities Life Satisfaction Disability Germany 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Economics DepartmentUniversity of MalagaMalagaSpain

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