The Relationship between Leisure Satisfaction and Life Satisfaction of Adolescents concerning Online Games

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Total online game market subscription revenue in Taiwan in 2005 reached 210 million, a 12.1% increase from 2004. The International Data Corporation (IDC, 2006), one of the largest online gaming markets in the Asia-Pacific region, conducted the above market research. Another research report by the Market Intelligence Center shows that Taiwan's online gaming revenues will reach 260 million in 2006, growing to 290 million by 2007 (MIC, 2006). The Fubon Cultural & Educational Foundation (2004) research report, on the other hand, indicates that Taiwan teenagers are online an average of 1 hour, 45 minutes a day, mostly for electronic mail, online gaming and data search. The same report also points out that of the 34.26 hours of leisure time senior and junior school students spend each week, 12.27 hours are used for "online activities" or "playing video games and using the computer." Clearly, online gaming has become a major leisure activity for Taiwanese teenagers.

Leisure generally provides adolescents with opportunities to experience different social roles and actions as well as a healthful balance of mind and body (Bammel & Burrus-Bammel, 1996). Therefore, Widmer, Ellis, and Trunnell (1996) suggest that for adolescents to establish healthful leisure models while growing up and continue to explore and search for life-long hobbies and leisure activities, inner satisfaction from leisure alternatives should avoid superficial simulation or blind consumption of commercial leisure products. However, previous research mainly focused on the negative affects of online gaming on adolescents as possible causes of pathological or addictive behavior (e.g., Morahan-Martin & Schumacher, 2000; Chuang, 2006; Wan & Chiou, 2006). Research has rarely explored the positive effects on teenagers of leisure satisfaction on life satisfaction. This study sought to fill this gap.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Ragheb and Griffith (1982) define leisure participation as the frequency with which one engages in a particular leisure activity. Leisure activities are particularly important during adolescence because they provide opportunities to explore autonomy and form an identity, as well as accomplish desired social ends (Gordon & Caltabiano, 1996). Through participation in leisure activities, adolescents acquire additional sociocultural knowledge, practice social and cooperative skills, achieve intellectual or physical goals, and explore a variety of peer, family, and community roles (Gordon & Caltabiano, 1996). Leisure satisfaction can be obtained through an individual's choice of leisure (Beard & Ragheb, 1980). That satisfaction is measured by degree of conscious or unconscious fulfillment of an individual's needs. Leisure is playing an increasingly important role in our lives because it meets many needs, such as releasing stress, increasing learning efficiency, and attaining a healthy balance of mind and body. Mannell, Zuzanek, and Larson (1988) also state that leisure satisfaction helps us achieve a sense of satisfaction. Bearon (1989) defines life satisfaction as a relationship function between situational factors or achievements (what is) and aspirations (what one wishes for). Shichman and Cooper (1984) state that life satisfaction means living better, enjoying life, and in general having a better quality of life. However, overall satisfaction depends upon achieving satisfaction in various other areas; for example, health, work, and family. Moreover, satisfaction in these areas is a matter of degree of one's inner satisfaction. Riddick (1986) in examining possible life satisfaction indicators, found that inner happiness results mainly from leisure satisfaction--and not from family, work, health or economic factors. Kinney and Coyle (1992) further stress that leisure satisfaction in mature adults importantly increases one's life satisfaction.

Of late, surfing the net has become one of the most popular daily leisure activities of adolescents. …