Leisure Activities and Life Satisfaction: an Analysis with German Panel Data
- 924 Downloads
Given the nature of leisure as largely uncoerced and not necessary for survival it seems obvious at a first glance that leisure activities should contribute to happiness. Indeed, recent research has found positive effects of leisure activities on subjective well-being. In this article, we analyze the association between leisure activities and life satisfaction based on longitudinal data from Germany. By applying fixed-effects regression models we are able to rule out potential bias due to unobserved heterogeneity in time-constant variables. We use data from three waves of the German Family Panel (pairfam), a large, randomly sampled longitudinal study of adolescents and adults (aged 15–41 across the observation period), to test the effects of five leisure activities (sports; vacation; meeting with friends; internet use; and TV viewing) on respondents’ life satisfaction. Our results indicate that meeting with friends, doing sports, and going on vacation contributes positively to life satisfaction whereas internet use for personal purposes and TV consumption are negatively related to life satisfaction.
KeywordsLeisure activities Life satisfaction Social leisure Physical activity Vacation Television Fixed-effects regression
This study uses data from the German Family Panel pairfam, coordinated by Josef Brüderl, Karsten Hank, Johannes Huinink, Bernhard Nauck, Franz Neyer, and Sabine Walper. pairfam is funded as long-term project by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
- Allen, L. R., & Beattie, R. J. (1984). The role of leisure as an indicator of overall satisfaction with community life. Journal of Leisure Research, 16(2), 99–109.Google Scholar
- Argyle, M. (1999). Causes and correlates of happiness. In D. D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 353–373). New York: Sage.Google Scholar
- Chen, Y., Fu, X., & Lehto, X. (2014b). Chinese tourist vacation satisfaction and subjective well-being. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1-16. doi: 10.1007/s11482-014-9354-y.
- Driver, B. L., Brown, P. J., & Peterson, G. L. (1991). Benefits of leisure. State College, PA, US: Venture Publishing.Google Scholar
- Edginton, C. R., DeGraaf, D. G., Dieser, R. B., & Edginton, S. R. (2006). Leisure and life satisfaction: Foundational perspectives (4th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Huinink, J., Brüderl, J., Nauck, B., Walper, S., Castiglioni, L., & Feldhaus, M. (2011). Panel analysis of intimate relationships and family dynamics (pairfam): conceptual framework and design. Zeitschrift für Familienforschung-Journal of Family Research, 23(1).Google Scholar
- Kim, J., Chun, S., Heo, J., Lee, S., & Han, A. (2014). Contribution of leisure-time physical activity on psychological benefits among elderly immigrants. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1-10. doi: 10.1007/s11482-014-9374-7.
- Motl, R. W., Birnbaum, A. S., Kubik, M. Y., & Dishman, R. K. (2004). Naturally occurring changes in physical activity are inversely related to depressive symptoms during early adolescence. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66(3), 336–342.Google Scholar
- Nauck B., Brüderl J., Huinink J. & Walper S. (2014). The German Family Panel (pairfam). (5.0 ed.): GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. doi: 10.4232/pairfam.56188.8.131.52.
- O’Connor, P. J., Raglin, J. S., & Martinsen, E. W. (2000). Physical activity, anxiety and anxiety disorders. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31(2), 136–155.Google Scholar
- Pagan, R. (2015). Are relational goods important for people with disabilities? Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1-19. doi: 10.1007/s11482-015-9423-x.
- Wooldridge, J. M. (2010). Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar