Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The Mediating Effects of Social Support, Self-Esteem, and Sense of Mastery on Relationships among Physically Active Leisure, Stress, and Health

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

The Mediating Effects of Social Support, Self-Esteem, and Sense of Mastery on Relationships among Physically Active Leisure, Stress, and Health

Article excerpt

Yoshi Iwasaki, University of Manitoba, and fin Zuzanek, University of Waterloo

Despite a popular belief about health benefits of leisure, it is not entirely clear the detailed mechanisms by which leisure provides health benefits. Our study focused on examining: (a) the role of physically active leisure in directly promoting health, and in indirectly affecting health through its stress-reduction effects, and (b) the potential mediating effects of sociopsycho-logical resources (social support, self-esteem, and sense of mastery) on the relationships among leisure, stress, and health. We analyzed data from the 1994 National Population Health Survey. The sample consists of randomly selected respondents (n= 17,626), ages 12 years and over, in Canada. Physically active leisure was measured by: the leisure index (reflecting the frequency of participation in 20 activities such as walking and gardening), the frequency of overall physical activity (1 = infrequent to 3 = regular), and the physical activity index (1 = inactive to 3 = active). Health represented: physical health (subjective and objec tive measures), mental ill-health (distress and depression), and well being (emotional and cognitive). Stress consisted of: chronic stress (personal problems, relationship problems, etc.), life events stress (recent negative life events), and work stress (job insecurity, psychological demands, etc.). Sociopsychological resources examined were perceived social support, self-esteem (the amount of positive feelings people hold about themselves), and sense of mastery (the extent to which people believe that their life-chances are under their control). …

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