Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Contributions of Leisure to Coping with Daily Hassles in University Students' Lives

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

Contributions of Leisure to Coping with Daily Hassles in University Students' Lives

Article excerpt


The purpose of this study was to examine whether and how leisure coping significantly influences immediate coping outcomes (operationalized by coping effectiveness, satisfaction with coping outcomes, and stress reduction), mental health, and psychological well-being, above and beyond the impact of general coping (not directly associated with leisure). Overall, the unique contributions of leisure coping were statistically significant for predicting all of the three outcome indicators. Leisure coping beliefs (dispositional coping resources developed through involvement in leisure) significantly contributed to greater immediate coping outcomes, lower mental illhealth, and higher psychological well-being. The other primary dimension of leisure coping, namely, leisure coping strategies (situation-specific behaviours or cognitions available through leisure pursuits), was found to significantly predict greater immediate coping outcomes.


L'objet de la presente etude etait d'examiner dans quelle mesure et de quelle facon l'adaptation aux activites de loisir influence les resultats de l'adaptation immediate (operationalisee par l'efficacite de l'adaptation, la satisfaction quant aux resultats de l'adaptation et de la reduction du stress), la sante mentale et le bien-titre psychologique, au-dela de l'impact de 1'adaptation generate (qui nest pas associee directement aux activites de loisir). Dans l'ensemble, les contributions specifiques de Fadaptation aux activites de loisir sont statistiquement significatives dans la prediction des trois indicateurs. Les croyances quant A l'adaptation aux activites de loisir (les ressources d'adaptation de disposition acquises par la participation aux activites de loisir) ont contribue de facon importante aux resultats d'une adaptation immediate plus grande, a une meilleure same mentale et un plus grand bien-titre psychologique. L'autre dimension primaire de l'adaptation aux activites de loisir, A savoir les strategies d'adaptation aux activites de loisir (des comportements ou des cognitions specifique A la situation amends par la poursuite d'activites de loisir) ont predit de faqon significative une plus grande adaptation immediate.

The recent growth of coping research has been one of the most prominent trends in behavioural sciences. A number of studies have provided a large amount of evidence that helps to explain the mechanisms by which people cope with stress (for review, see Gottlieb, 1997; Hobfoll, 1998; Zeidner & Endler, 1996). However, one of the neglected, and potentially important, ideas is the potential of leisure as a means of effectively coping with stress and maintaining good health. Although some researchers have suggested such potential, it is not entirely clear whether or not and how leisure contributes to coping with stress in people's daily lives (Trenberth, Dewe, & Walkey, 1999).

To date, evidence has been found to support the idea that leisure can be an important buffer against stress to maintain good health (e.g., Moen, Dempster-- McClain, & Williams, 1989; Rook, 1987, 1990). For example, Wheeler and Frank (1988) investigated a set of 22 variables to determine the relative importance of each as a stress buffer and concluded that "there are four "true" buffers: sense of competence, exercise pattern, sense of purpose, and leisure activity" (p. 78). In an experimental intervention study, Reich and Zautra (1981) tested whether increasing an individual's pleasant events (including leisure) would promote wellbeing and reduce distress. They found that those reporting prior negative life changes showed greater psychological well-being and lower distress one month after being randomly assigned to a group that was instructed to engage in 12 pleasurable activities than those in groups instructed to engage in only two or none. Cohen and Hoberman (1983) reported results consistent with these findings - positive events including leisure helped individuals protect against the pathogenic effects of negative events to maintain good health. …

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