Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A Qualitative Look at Leisure Benefits for Taiwanese Nursing Students

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A Qualitative Look at Leisure Benefits for Taiwanese Nursing Students

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to determine attitudes of first year nursing students toward leisure participation at the Jen-Te Junior College of Medicine Nursing and Management in Miao-Li, Taiwan. The three research questions used for this study were: What types of leisure activities do first year nursing students at Jen- Te Junior College participate in?, what are the attitudes of first year nursing students at Jen-Te Junior College toward leisure?, and what is the relationship between leisure attitudes and leisure participation of first year nursing students in Jen-Te Junior College? The grounded theory method was used to generate the research findings. Five categories of students' attitudes toward leisure emerged: social interaction, learning-seeking, psychological well-being, physical health and self-growth. Key Words: Leisure, Leisure Activity, Leisure Attitude, Adolescence, and Need

Introduction and Statement of the Problem

In the twentieth century, leisure has emerged as a critical issue in people's lives. Increased material standard of living, better health, increased level of education, a declining percentage of life devoted to work, and greater personal freedom has provided, for many, a vastly increased potential for leisure. The use of free time in voluntary and pleasurable ways is an expected, and often realized, part of life in postindustrial societies (Kelly & Godbey, 1992). As Godbey (1999) described, leisure and its use has become increasingly important to individuals' sense of self and well being, as well as a critical part of the economy. Thus, the study of leisure has emerged.

Society in Taiwan (which was affected by western culture) experienced a transition from an agricultural to an industrial society at the beginning of the twentieth century. Quality of life has been enhanced due to the success of Taiwan's economic development. Yen (1997) argued that since the government did not appropriate a budget for the public leisure system, commercialized organizations play a major role in the recreation industry in Taiwan. While commercialized leisure activities are not deemed less desirable than public activities, this fact does demonstrate the budgetary priorities of the government (and the lack of priority on leisure activities). With increased advertisement, some individuals are easily attracted to follow commercialized leisure activities, such as MTV and video games. Others indulge in sensual pleasures, such as gambling, drinking, or pornography (that are viewed as unhealthy leisure activities, Yen, 1997).

A flood of "leisure" has emerged throughout society; yet, unfortunately, society has not been educated to properly make use of it. Several studies investigated the use of leisure (or satisfaction with leisure) among the Taiwanese people. For example, a report by Executive Yuan (1992) showed that people have significantly increased their leisure time and recreation expenditures. Other studies have shown that people were intent upon meeting their needs for leisure, but were not satisfied physically and mentally (Ho, 1991; Hsieh, M. J., 1998; Lin, 1996). Furthermore, Wang (1997) expressed that teenagers in Taiwan: (1) have a negative philosophy of life; (2) believe they have an insufficient amount of leisure activities; (3) hold a negative viewpoint of leisure; and (4) hold a negative attitude toward school education.

Franklin's research (1996) states that many individuals contend that they do not have time for more physical or active leisure activities due to constraints or barriers on their time (e.g., work, family, school, social organization, etc.), yet they spend approximately two or three hours per day watching television or performing some other sedentary or passive leisure activity. Therefore, it is not the lack of time per se, but the way leisure is viewed (a leisure attitude) that contributes to how people respond to leisure activities. It is apparent that progress needs to be made concerning leisure attitudes, which includes not only improving the quality and leadership of leisure service facilities, but also empowering people with a positive understanding of leisure in general. …

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