Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

An Examination of Family Leisure and Family Satisfaction among Traditional Turkish Families

Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

An Examination of Family Leisure and Family Satisfaction among Traditional Turkish Families

Article excerpt

In the leisure literature, many researchers have reported positive relationships between leisure and life satisfaction (Ragheb & Griffith, 1982; Ray, 1979; Riddick, 1986) and between involvement in shared leisure activities and satisfaction with family life (Holman & Jacquart, 1988; Miller, 1976; Orthner, 1975; Orthner & Mancini, 1990; Zabriskie 8i McCormick, 2003). In a research study conducted by United Media (1982), adults stated that their primary leisure objectives were "spending time with the family" and "companionship." The strong tie between leisure and family values focused new importance on shared time and interaction for family solidarity (Orthner & Mancini, 1990). It is also believed that family activities ha i become a common "core" to individual leisure patterns and that this core of family activities remained important throughout the Ufe course for both men and women (Kelly, 1983). Thus, life satisfaction is related to an increase in quaUty of life, and family satisfaction is related to the quality of family life (Freysinger, 1994; 1995; Holman & Epperson, 1984; Jeffres & Dobos, 1993; Orthner & Mancini, 1990; Siengenthaler & O'dell, 2000).

While many leisure studies have been conducted in developed Western societies, there have been few (Asian, 2000, 2004; Gokmen, Acikalin, Koyuncu, Saydar, 1985; Kiray, 1964) that have examined any aspect of leisure in developing societies such as that in Turkey. Studies that examine family leisure in Turkish society are virtually unheard of due to cultural differences. Culture is considered to be the basic factor affecting individuals' life-culture and leisure. Life-culture, in a sense, is the way society and individuals act. In other words, what individuals do with their leisure does influence and increasingly will influence their life-cultures (Dumazedier, 1967). Dumazedier's statement "Tell me your leisure, and I'll tell you your culture" (p.l 19) summarizes the relationship between culture and leisure. As famiUes are also a fundamental unit of Turkish society, we are Ukely to gain insight into the cultural development of Turkish society by examining family leisure. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between family leisure and satisfaction with family Ufe among urban Turkish famiUes within their cultural contexts from the perspectives of both parents and a young adult child.

Literature Review

Family and Leisure

Kaplan (1975) argued that leisure behavior should not only be examined among individuals, but should focus on families as well because of the meaningful inter-relationship between the two. FamiUes play the most important role in a child's leisure sociaUzation which is described as a process through which individuals acquire knowledge, attitudes, values, skills and motives about leisure (Iso-Ahola, 1980). From that perspective, sociaUzation into leisure is a continuous pattern of change beginning with the earliest interactions of childhood and continuing through the pivotal periods of adolescence and young adulthood on through maturity (Hoff & EUis, 1992).

Another approach to the investigation of leisure socialization examined the process through which people are socialized into recreation activities (Barnett & Chick, 1986; Burch, 1969; Kelly, 1972, 1977; Shaw, 1992; Yoesting & Burkhead, 1973). The importance of social interaction on leisure choices was noted, along with the influence of norm reference groups such as family and friends. McPherson (1976) found that peer groups were most influential for males, while parents were most influential for females (Hoff & Ellis, 1992).

Studying the link between the parental role and leisure, Horna (1989) stated that mothers, whether directly or indirectly, carried out a greater share of the leisure and the semi-leisure components. She found that more fathers perceived play and games with the children as their leisure, while more mothers viewed these activities as semileisure. …

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