Academic journal article College Student Journal

Leisure Time Boredom: Issues concerning College Students

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Leisure Time Boredom: Issues concerning College Students

Article excerpt

Students who do not have leisure skills, cannot manage leisure time, or are not aware that leisure can be psychologically rewarding are more likely to be bored during leisure. This study examined the impact of boredom on leisure of college students in relation to gender, level of education, and activity choice. Subjects at a Midwestern university completed the Leisure Boredom Scale and a modified version of the Leisure Activities Blank. No significant differences were found between overall levels of leisure boredom and the three independent variables. However, examinations of individual Leisure Boredom Scale items indicated specific differences. Examples of the findings included that males were more likely than females to agree that they became highly involved in what they did during their leisure and that they were very active during their leisure. Females were most likely to select passive activities as their activity of choice. Students who chose passive leisure activities were less likely to agree that they were very active in their leisure than the other three activity groups. From these differences, implications were constructed for the development and maintenance of campus recreational programs

Introduction

For many young adults, the college years are a period of expanding freedoms and focusing interests (Gitelson & Thomason, 1992). College is seen as the last stage of formal education for most people and it is also one of the last structured opportunities for individuals to form leisure time behavior patterns before they move into the workforce (Cheng et al., 2004). The college environment has a unique influence on leisure behavior, including different patterns of free time availability and the acquisition of new activities. Leisure participation in college students has long-term ramifications as it molds attitudes and behaviors leading to continued recreation participation in later life (Gordon & Catalbiano, 1996; Hultsman, 1993).

During this formative period many college students display positive leisure behaviors. However, some may exhibit negativity or deviance in their leisure. These deviant behaviors can be caused by a lack of leisure skills and the presence of leisure boredom. Gabriel (1988) noted that if boredom is a problem in critical development periods of leisure behavior, individuals may seek relief from the unpleasantness of this repression by entertaining various methods of deviant or negative behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine boredom of college students during their leisure.

Background

Iso-Ahola and Weissinger (1990) defined leisure boredom as, "A negative mood or state of mind that reflects a mismatch between optimal experiences that are perceptually available to an individual" (p. 4). Feelings of leisure boredom can be created by meaningless leisure or multiple constraints. Additionally, people who do not have leisure skills, cannot manage leisure time, or are not aware that leisure can be psychologically rewarding are more likely to be bored during leisure (Iso-Ahola & Weissinger, 1990).

Numerous instruments have been conceptualized to measure boredom during leisure, including the Zuckerman Boredom Susceptibility Scale (Zuckerman, Eysenck, & Eysenck, 1978), Boredom Proneness Scale (Farmer & Sundberg, 1986), and the Free Time Boredom Scale (Ragheb & Merydith, 2001). However, the most utilized measurement tool of leisure boredom is the Leisure Boredom Scale (LBS) created by Iso-Ahola and Weissinger (1987).

Iso-Ahola and Weissinger (1987) first used the LBS to examine perceptions of leisure as boredom. Six psychological factors including leisure ethic, work ethic, leisure repertoire, awareness, constraints, and self

motivation were measured and accounted for 60% of the total variance of leisure boredom. A major finding in these results was that awareness of leisure opportunities accounted for more than one-half of this variance. …

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