The Relationship Between Father Involvement in Family Leisure and Family Functioning: The Importance of Daily Family Leisure

Leisure Sciences (Impact Factor: 1.07). 03/2012; 34(2):172-190. DOI: 10.1080/01490400.2012.652510


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between fathers’ involvement in family leisure and aspects of family functioning from both a father and young adolescent perspective. The sample consisted of fathers and their adolescent child from 647 families throughout the United States. Results from both the father and youth perspective indicated significant relationships between father involvement in both core and balance family leisure with family cohesion, family adaptability, and overall family functioning. Satisfaction with core family leisure that included the father's involvement was the single strongest predictor of all aspects of family functioning from both perspectives highlighting the importance of regularly occurring home-based family activities such as eating dinner together, participating in hobbies and informal sports or yard activities together, watching television together, or playing board games and video games together. Discussion and implications for fathers, families, practitioners, and future research are presented.

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    • "There is also a sense of fostering the next generation through children's leisure activities or for 'generativity' to occur (Erikson 1950), which is central to the generative notion of fathering (Harrington 2006). Fathers' involvement in family leisure can be the strongest predictor of all aspects of family functioning (Buswell et al. 2012). Kay (2006a) showed that mothers perceived family leisure as more work-like or 'being there' for the children. "
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    ABSTRACT: Studies of family leisure and holidays reveal that an important goal of these experiences is the fostering of family togetherness and social connectedness away from usual work/life pressures. As outlined by [Schänzel, H. A., and K. A. Smith. 2014. “The Socialization of Families Away from Home: Group Dynamics and Family Functioning on Holiday.” Leisure Sciences 36 (2): 126–143], however, family experiences of leisure include opportunities for both ‘family time’ and ‘own time’. Family time incorporates opportunities for strengthening family bonds by creating family memories and allowing learning to occur. By contrast, own time encapsulates freedom from those family commitments to pursue one's own interests and to seek respite from the obligatory commitments of family life. Using data collected in face-to-face questionnaires completed with 221 New Zealand family groups, this paper seeks to explore the extent to which family time and own time experiences are differently perceived by parents accompanying their children to three family-friendly visitor attractions in Christchurch, New Zealand. In particular, the paper explores the motivations and experiences sought by fathers visiting with their child/ren at these attractions and compares these with mothers’ motivations and experiences. Findings show that fathers have differing motivations and seek different experiences than mothers at these attractions, and that these motivations vary based on whether they are attending visitor attractions as sole parents or accompanied by a co-parent.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Annals of Leisure Research
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    • "Kay argues that leisure-based activities (such as sport) are potentially more prominent in fathering and allow fathers to show emotional connection to their children (Harrington, 2006), including for nonresident fathers (Jenkins & Lyons, 2006). Father's involvement in family leisure can be the strongest predictor of all aspects of family functioning (Buswell et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: The focus on individuals in tourism research has led to limited and fragmented research on family groups and their leisure experiences away from home. This article extends conceptual and theoretical understandings within family tourism research by offering a three-dimensional framework inclusive of group perspectives. A whole-family methodology was used with 10 families (10 fathers, 10 mothers, and 20 children) in New Zealand as a more critical and holistic approach to tourism concepts. Empirical findings illustrate group dynamics along with the underrepresented generational perspectives of children and gender perspectives of fathers to provide insights into family functioning. This resulted in a three-layered model of family holiday experiences inclusive of group sociality. The collective intentionality of family togetherness on holiday is contrasted with more balanced modes in own time, highlighting the complexity of socialization within tourism theory and practice.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Leisure Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: As the North American population ages, detailed research will be needed to understand the leisure experiences of older adults. The purpose of this study is to explore perceptions of leisure and aging among a sample of older Canadian men. Data were collected among 15 men aged 60–70 using individual interviews and follow-up focus groups. Data were analyzed thematically and four themes emerged: the interplay between leisure and work, the desire to “give back” to family or to the community through leisure, the individual purpose of leisure choices, and viewing constraints as a reflection of priorities rather than as barriers.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Leisure Sciences
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