Psychological Benefits of the “Maker” or Do-It-Yourself Movement in Young Adults: A Pathway Towards Subjective Well-Being
- 1.1k Downloads
Over the past several decades, increasing numbers of people have become involved in the do-it-yourself (DIY) or “Maker” movement, i.e., creating a wide range of products from home improvement to self-service to crafts. Little is known about the psychological benefits of these actions; there is an assumption that involvement ultimately increases quality of life. We surveyed 465 college students to describe their participation in a variety of Maker undertakings ranging from domestic arts, arts and crafts, to DIY activities, and examined four potential mediators of the relationship between a Maker identity and SWB. We inquired about the time spent engaged in the activities, reasons for involvement, as well as the immediate and long-term benefits received from Making. We found that college students spent approximately 3 h a week involved in Maker activities and that they most often engaged in domestic arts (e.g., cooking, baking, and gardening). The most important reasons provided for involvement in Maker activities were mood-repair, socializing with friends, and the ability to “stay present-focused.” Having a Maker identity was associated with subjective well-being (SWB), primarily explained by high arousal (i.e., exciting or stimulating) during Maker activities, but not positive mood. Trait rumination and reduced self-focus, or quiet ego, were also related to SWB and suggest the importance of reduced self-focus in understanding the relationship between Making and SWB. Taken together, it appears that Maker identity may be a potential pathway towards SWB.
KeywordsDo-it-yourself movement Maker identity Subjective well-being Positive affect High arousal mood Rumination Quiet ego
- Bentler, P. M. (2006). EQS 6 structural equations program manual. Encino, CA: Multivariate Software Inc.Google Scholar
- Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow. The Psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
- Denmead, K. (2013). Why the Maker Movement is here to stay. Make: We are all Makers. http://makezine.com/2013/06/03/why-the-maker-movement-is-here-to-stay/.
- DiLorenzo, T. M., Bargman, E. P., Stucky-Ropp, R., Brassington, G. S., Frensch, P. A., & LaFontaine, T. (1999). Long-term effects of aerobic exercise on psychological outcomes. Preventive Medicine: An International Journal Devoted to Practice and Theory, 28(1), 75–85. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1998.0385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ghalim, A. (2013). Fabbing practices: An ethnography in Fab Lab. Amsterdam. Master diss., Universiteit van Amsterdam (New Media and Culture Studies), Amsterdam, The Netherlands. http://www.scribd.com/doc/127598717/FABBING-PRACTICES-AN-ETHNOGRAPHY-IN-FAB-LAB-AMSTERDAM.
- Huebner, S. (2001). Multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, Department of Psychology.Google Scholar
- Kuznetsov, S., & Paulos, E. (2010). Rise of the expert amateur: DIY projects, communities, and cultures. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human–Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries. In Proceedings of NordiCHI(2010) (pp. 295–304). http://www.staceyk.org/hci/KuznetsovDIY.pdf.
- Levine, F., & Heimerl, C. (2008). Handmade nation: The rise of DIY, art, craft, and design. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.Google Scholar
- Mori, M., Takano, K., & Tanno, Y. (2015). Role of self-focus in the relationship between depressed mood and problem solving. Motivation and Emotion, 39(5), 827–838.Google Scholar
- National Center for Education and Statistics (NCES). (2013). Table 302.60. Percentages of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in degree-granting institutions, by level of institution and sex and race/ethnicity of student: 1967 through 2012. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_302.60.asp on July 14, 2016.
- Schermelleh-Engel, K., & Moosbrugger, H. (2003). Evaluating the fit of structural equation models: Tests of significance and descriptive goodness-of-fit measures. Methods of Psychological Research Online, 8, 23–74.Google Scholar
- Schwartz, S. J., Hardy, S. A., Zamboanga, B. L., Meca, A., Waterman, A. S., Picariello, S., et al. (2015). Identity in young adulthood: Links with mental health and risky behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 36, 39–52.Google Scholar
- Thomashow, M. (1996). Ecological identity: Becoming a reflective environmentalist (p. 228). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Tidikis, V. (2012). Mood and creativity: The mediating role of attention. Norfolk: Old Dominion University. Google Scholar
- Wayment, H. A., & Bauer, J. J. (2016). The quiet ego: Concept, measurement, and well-being. In M. D. Robinson & M. Eid (Eds.), The Happy mind: Cognitive contributions to well-being. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
- Wayment, H. A., West, T. N, & Craddock, E. B. (2016). Compassionate values as a resource during the transition to college: Quiet ego, compassionate goals, and self-compassion. Journal of the First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 28(2), 93–114.Google Scholar