Adolescent leisure dimensions, psychosocial adjustment, and gender effects
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Leisure provides the context for much of adolescent behavior and development. While both theory and research point to the benefits of participation in leisure activities that are highly structured, the association between structured leisure and psychosocial adjustment is not uniformly high. This paper presents a model of adolescent leisure comprising three dimensions: structure, effort, and social contact. Adolescent adjustment is hypothesized to increase with participation in activities characterized by each of these attributes. Adjustment is also predicted to vary with gender, and with the interaction of gender and leisure participation. These propositions were tested in a questionnaire-based study of 433 Australian adolescents. Results revealed majority support for hypotheses pertaining to the positive effects of the leisure dimensions, and for gender differences in leisure participation and adjustment. Evidence was also obtained of gender-differentiated effects of leisure on adjustment, with social leisure predicting adjustment more strongly in females than males.
Journal of Adolescence
© 2012 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Developmental Psychology and Ageing