The role of leisure in determining quality of life: Issues of content and measurement

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Lloyd, Kathleen
J. Auld, Christopher
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Alex C. Michalos

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2002
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Abstract

Traditional approaches to themeasurement of leisure's relationship toquality of life have emphasised place-centredindicators (e.g., the frequency of leisurefacility usage) and tended to ignoreperson-centred criteria (e.g., satisfactionwith leisure experiences). Moreover, theunderlying assumption in subsequent policyoutcomes has been that increasing the number offacilities and services will automaticallyenhance people's QOL. This paper focuses onboth the content and measurement of leisure andits relationship to quality of life. Itreports the results of a study that examinedthe relative importance of selected place andperson-centred leisure attributes in predictingquality of life. The study tested a set ofobjective and subjective indicators that peopleare most concerned with in their leisure lives. Overall, it was found that the person-centredleisure attribute, leisure satisfaction, wasthe best predictor of quality of life. Place-centred attributes failed to influencequality of life. Further analysis revealedthat people who engage in social activitiesmore frequently and who are more satisfied withthe psychological benefits they derive fromleisure, experience higher levels of perceivedquality of life. The results suggest thatthere is a need to reconcile objectiveknowledge with subjective perceptions ofleisure in order to achieve greaterunderstanding and comprehensive measurement ofthis complex domain and its relationship toquality of life.

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Social Indicators Research: An international and interdisciplinary journal for quality-of-life measurement

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57

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Applied Economics

Business and Management

Sociology

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