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This study investigated the qualities of serious leisure in relation to subjective well-being (SWB). A four-step hierarchical regression analysis was conducted using data obtained from 505 individuals who participated in various leisure activities in the Republic of Korea. Age, education, gender, monthly income, monthly leisure expenditure, marital status, and 18 dimensions of serious leisure were used as independent variables. Results showed that education, personal enrichment, self-expression of individual, and self-gratification-enjoyment were significant predictors of SWB. In general, demographic factors accounted for a small percentage of the variance in SWB whereas serious leisure qualities demonstrated significantly more power.
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The Journal of Positive Psychology
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Serious leisure qualities and subjective well-being
KangJae Jerry Lee & Sunhwan Hwang
To cite this article: KangJae Jerry Lee & Sunhwan Hwang (2017): Serious leisure qualities and
subjective well-being, The Journal of Positive Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2017.1374437
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Published online: 06 Sep 2017.
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Serious leisure qualities and subjective well-being
KangJaeJerry Leea and SunhwanHwangb
aDepartment of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA; bDepartment of Sport Science,
University of Seoul, Seoul, Republic of Korea
This study investigated the qualities of serious leisure in relation to subjective well-being (SWB). A
four-step hierarchical regression analysis was conducted using data obtained from 505 individuals
who participated in various leisure activities in the Republic of Korea. Age, education, gender,
monthly income, monthly leisure expenditure, marital status, and 18 dimensions of serious leisure
were used as independent variables. Results showed that education, personal enrichment, self-
expression of individual, and self-gratication-enjoyment were signicant predictors of SWB. In
general, demographic factors accounted for a small percentage of the variance in SWB whereas
serious leisure qualities demonstrated signicantly more power.
The concept of subjective well-being (SWB) refers to indi-
viduals’ aective and cognitive evaluations of the over-
all quality of their lives (Diener, 2000). For the last three
decades, there has been a considerable increase in the
number of SWB studies across many academic disciplines
(McMahon, 2008). For example, Diener and Scollon (2014)
reported that today the topic produces approximately
9000 studies a year. The increasing body of SWB research
is largely due to its linkage with health and social ben-
ets. Several studies, both causal and longitudinal, have
provided some compelling empirical evidence to sug-
gest that happiness makes people healthier (Steptoe &
Wardle, 2011), less likely to develop illness (Cohen, Doyle,
Turner, Alper, & Skoner, 2003), and live longer (Diener
& Chan, 2011). Moreover, happier people tend to have
better social relationships (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener,
2005) and higher levels of productivity at work (Boehm &
Lyubomirsky, 2008; Oishi, 2012). Due to a variety of health
and social benets, identifying the predictors of high SWB
has been of keen interest to many health professionals,
businesses, and policymakers.
One unique approach to this line of research inquiry is
investigating the relationship between SWB and serious
leisure. Stebbins (2007) dened serious leisure as:
[T]he systematic pursuit of an amateur, hobbyist, or vol-
unteer core activity that people nd so substantial, inter-
esting, and fullling that, in the typical case, they launch
themselves on a (leisure) career centered on acquiring
and expressing a combination of its special skills, knowl-
edge, and experience. (p. 5)
Thus, serious leisure participants dierentiate themselves
from those seeking casual or non-serious involvement by
their enduring involvement, unusual intensity, and consid-
erable commitment. Stebbins (2007) further explained that
serious leisure participation exhibitssix distinct qualities,
which include: (a) perseverance; (b) signicant personal
eort toward developing skills and knowledge; (c) ten-
dency to establish a career in leisure participation, marked
by turning points and stages of achievement or involve-
ment; (d) gaining durable personal and social benets
such as self-actualization, self-enrichment, self-expression,
regeneration or renewal of self, feelings of accomplish-
ment, enhancement of self-image, social interaction and
belongingness, and lasting physical products or activity;
(e) strong identication with the chosen activity; and (f )
self-immersion in a unique ethos with other participants
by sharing attitudes, practices, and goals. Since its incep-
tion, researchers have examined serious leisure in relation
to various activities, such as beer appreciation (Thurnell-
Read, 2016), Civil War reenactment (Hunt, 2004), tourna-
ment bass shing (Yoder, 1997), basketball and soccer (Lee,
Dunlap, & Scott, 2011), shag dancing (Brown, 2007), stamp
collecting (Gelber, 1992), contract bridge (Scott & Godbey,
1992), and long-distance running (Robinson, Patterson, &
Axelsen, 2014).
Theoretically speaking, serious leisure qualities over-
lap with several critical determinants of SWB. For exam-
ple, characteristics such as perseverance and eort denote
continuous investment of time and energy in a particular
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Serious leisure qualities;
subjective well-being;
hierarchical regression;
eudaimonia; hedonia
Received 28 November 2016
Accepted3 July 2017
CONTACT Sunhwan Hwang
Downloaded by [North Carolina State University] at 09:19 07 September 2017
older adults and tested several hierarchical linear models.
Results showed that serious leisure was positively associ-
ated with SWB and ow had a negative relationship. While
other previous studies did not identify the negative rela-
tionship between ow and SWB, Heo et al. explained that
the nding might be due to their operationalization of ow
which was based on the balance between challenge and
skill level. They explained that ‘the skill-challenge ratio may
not be critical for SWB among older adults’ (p. 221). The
study also found that serious leisure and ow collectively
accounted for 12.5% of the within-person variance of SWB.
Recent studies employed a more nuanced analytic
approach. Chen (2014) investigated the moderating eect
of spousal support between serious leisure and SWB using
volunteers at cultural and heritage tourist sites in Taiwan.
Chen noted that serious leisure can create family issues
and life dissatisfaction because participants often spend
less time with their family members and focus too much
on their activities. Results of the study conrmed this argu-
ment. Older adults who received more spousal support
tended to have higher SWB than those of who received less
spousal support. Moreover, Kim, Heo, Lee, and Kim (2015)
investigated the relationships among serious leisure qual-
ities, personal growth, and happiness using Taekwondo
participants and Serious Leisure Inventory and Measure
(SLIM) developed by Gould, Moore, McGuire, and Stebbins
(2008). Kim et al. (2015) found that serious leisure quali-
ties such as eort, career contingency (unintended/chance
happening that aect progress or decline in the leisure
career), and personal growth predicted participants’ level
of happiness. Career contingency also positively aected
personal growth.
Although previous studies added to the literature,
several unresolved issues remain in their operationali-
zations of serious leisure. First, some studies quantied
serious leisure using only one or a few items (e.g., Heo et
al., 2010; Liu, 2014; Liu & Yu, 2015) even though it is a mul-
tidimensional construct which entails various behavioral
and psychological characteristics. Similarly, other studies
used an aggregate measure of the six distinct qualities
and did not examine how serious leisure qualities vary by
their eect on SWB (e.g., Chen, 2014; Pi et al., 2014). The
multidimensionality of the construct demands a more
advertent operationalization (Shen & Yarnal, 2010; Veal,
2017). For example, it is not clear if ‘a low score on one or
more serious leisure qualities an indication of casualness’
(Veal, 2017, p. 12). Although Kim et al.’s (2015) study dier-
entiated serious leisure qualities and their eecton SWB, it
excluded durable benets from the analysis based on the
assertion that ‘they need not be treated as additive indi-
ces of seriousness’ (p. 151). Nevertheless, Stebbins (2007)
noted that personal benets, such as self-enrichment and
self-gratication are the most important benets of serious
activity. Newman, Tay, and Diener (2014) explained that
these qualities align closely with mastery experience,
the non-occupational activity that provides challenge
and learning. Since mastery experiences can increase
mood and SWB (Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007), Newman et al.
(2014) emphasized that serious leisure participation can
also positively aect SWB. Moreover, the career aspect
describes skill progression and knowledge development.
Iwasaki (2007) explained that such processes can provide a
sense of accomplishment and self-ecacy, two important
antecedents of SWB. Likewise, identity describes serious
leisure participation as a central focus of life. Researchers
noted that striving for a specic personal goal can pro-
vide a meaning and purpose to life, and in turn, positively
aect SWB (Ho, Cheung, & Cheung, 2010; Iwasaki, 2007).
Finally, a unique ethos shows that serious leisure enthu-
siasts socialize with like-minded individuals for bonding
purposes. Studies indicated that a sense of belonging
established through leisure participation was positively
related to SWB (Elgar et al., 2011; Glover & Parry, 2008;
Wang & Wong, 2014).
To date, several empirical studies have supported
the contribution of serious leisure to SWB. For example,
Heo, Stebbins, Kim, and Lee (2013) examined serious
leisure and SWB among those who participate in Senior
Olympic Games. Heo et al. categorized participants into
three groups based on their level of seriousness, and then
compared the life satisfaction scores of the most and least
serious groups. The authors found that the high group was
more likely to report personal and social benets of serious
leisure participation, along with greater happiness scores
than those in the low group. The ndings suggested that
serious leisure was positively associated with life satisfac-
tion and successful aging among older adults. Similarly, Liu
and Yu (2015) studied members of art clubs at a Chinese
university and compared levels of leisure satisfaction and
SWB between serious and non-serious groups. The former
displayed signicantly higher scores in leisure satisfac-
tion for every item on the personal well-being index from
International Wellbeing Group (2006).
While the aforementioned studies mainly compared the
SWB levels of serious and non-serious groups, other inves-
tigations have identied a positive relationship between
serious leisure and SWB. For instance, Pi, Lin, Chen, Chiu,
and Chen (2014) examined the relationship between
serious leisure and SWB using data collected from vol-
unteers at the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition.
Their structural equation model revealed that serious vol-
unteering was positively associated with SWB. Similarly,
Heo, Lee, McCormick, and Pedersen (2010) investigated
how serious leisure and ow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990)
contributed to the SWB of older adults. Using experience
sampling method, Heo et al. (2010) collected data from 22
Downloaded by [North Carolina State University] at 09:19 07 September 2017
leisure, and exert a stronger eect on SWB than other lei-
sure qualities. In sum, the analytic approaches used by
previous studies failed to show the complex relationship
between serious leisure participation and SWB.
The purpose of this study is to ll the research gaps by
investigating the eects of dierent serious leisure quali-
ties on SWB. Specically, its two main research questions
are: (a) Do serious leisure qualities vary by their eect
on SWB? (b) If so, which characteristics of serious leisure
predict SWB and how much explanatory power do they
possess? To address these questions, this study conducts
a four-step hierarchical regression to analyze how seri-
ous leisure qualities contribute to SWB dierently. Due to
its novel approach, this study is expected to shed fresh
insights and provide a more complete picture of the phe-
nomenon under investigation.
Study sample
The sample consisted of individuals who attended exercise
classes at recreation facilities managed by universities or
local governments in the Republic of Korea. The population
was stratied across six Korean provinces, followed by ran-
dom sampling at two recreation facilities in each province.
Class instructors and trained sta conducted 600 on-site
surveys from May to September of 2014. Participation in
the study was voluntary. The questionnaire rst asked a
respondent to provide his/her primary leisure activity.
Subsequently, a series of questions were asked to meas-
ure if participants experienced any serious leisure qualities
from the activity, SWB, and demographic characteristics.
After removing unusable responses and extreme outliers,
505 questionnaires were analyzed, yielding a response rate
of 84.2%. The majority of respondents were male (n=307,
60%), single (n=393, 78%), and college students or grad-
uates (n=455, 90%). The age of the respondents ranged
from 18 to 66years (M=27.49, SD=9.97). Respondents
listed a wide range of primary leisure pursuits, including
watching movies, playing computer games, reading books,
traveling, playing musical instruments, cooking, and par-
ticipation in sports. 57.4 per cent of the respondents listed
a sport activity or exercising as their primary leisure activ-
ity. Table 1 provides descriptive statistics of respondents’
demographic characteristics.
Serious leisure qualities were measured using the short
version of the SLIM scale developed by Gould et al. (2008)
which was based on Stebbins’ (1982, 1997) conceptualiza-
tion. The short version consists of 54 items that measure
18 dimensions corresponding with six qualities of serious
leisure. Career consists of two dimensions: career pro-
gress and career contingency. Durable benets consistsof
12 dimensions: personal enrichment, self-actualization,
self-expression of abilities, self-expression of individual,
self-image, self-gratication-satisfaction, self-gratica-
tion-enjoyment, recreation, nancial return, group attrac-
tion, group accomplishments, and group maintenance.
Three items were used for each dimension. Some sample
questions from the SLIM include: ‘If I encounter obsta-
cles in respondent’s primary leisure activity, I persist until
I overcome them’, ‘I try hard to become more competent
in respondent’s primary leisure’, ‘ respondent’s primary leisure
activity has added richness to my life’, respondent’s primary
leisure activity has enabled me to realize my potentials’,
‘Other respondent’s primary leisure activity enthusiasts and
I share many of the same ideals’, and ‘Others that know
me understand that respondent’s primary leisure activity is
a part of who I am’. A complete list of the items can be
found in Gould et al. (2008, pp. 58, 59). Table 2 provides the
Cronbach alpha reliability coecients for the 18 dimen-
sions. They ranged from 0.68 to 0.89 and demonstrated a
high level of internal consistency. Table 3 provides Pearson
correlation coecients among 18 dimensions of serious
leisure. All correlations were statistically signicant at the
p<0.001 level, except for the three coecients related to
nancial return. Statistically signicant correlation coe-
cients ranged from 0.14 to 0.76.
SWB was measured by the satisfaction with life scale
developed by Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Grin (1985).
The scale consists of ve questions which asked respond-
ents’ global cognitive judgments of life satisfaction. It is one
of the most recommended measures of SWB (Cummins,
2013). Each item was measured on a seven-point Likert-
type scale ranges from strongly disagree (1) to strongly
agree (7). Those ve questions were ‘In most ways my life
is close to my ideal’, ‘The conditions of my life are excellent’,
‘I am satised with my life’, ‘So far I have gotten the impor-
tant things I want in life’, and ‘If I could live my life over, I
would change almost nothing’. The Cronbach alpha relia-
bility coecient was 0.85, which indicated a high level of
internal consistency. The mean value of the four questions
was calculated for each respondent, which was used as a
standardized SWB score.
Table 1.Descriptive statistics of variables.
Minimum Maximum Mean SD
Age 18 66 27.49 9.97
Education 0 4 2.98 0.70
Gender 0 1 0.61 0.49
Monthly income 0 2000 186.35 274.18
Monthly leisure expend-
0 325 26.97 39.45
Marital status 0 1 0.22 0.42
Subjective well-being 1 7 4.29 1.15
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among the 18 dimensions of serious leisure. All tolerance
statistics were above 0.2, showing that no multicollinearity
was present in the model (Menard, 1995).
Table 4 provides the standardized regression coecients, F
statistics, adjusted R
, R
changes, and Durbin-Watson sta-
tistics from the regression analysis. The F statistics showed
that all regression models were statistically signicant. The
Durbin-Watson statistics were between 1.66 and 1.88, sug-
gesting no autocorrelation in the sample. In step 1, the
six demographic variables explained 1% of the variance
in SWB: F (6, 497) = 2.22, p< 0.05. Education (β = 0.15,
p < 0.01) was a signicant predictor of SWB. The other
demographic variables were not statistically signicant.
In step 2, the six variables reecting peseverance, eort,
career contingency, career progress, identity, and unique
ethos were added into the regression equation. The model
explained 14% of the variance in SWB: Fchange (6, 491) =
13.38, p<0.001. The adjusted R
change from step 1 to step
2 was 13%. Education (β= 0.13, p<0.01), perseverance
(β=0.13, p<0.01), and eort (β=0.16, p<0.05) were sig-
nicant predictors of SWB. The other serious leisure qual-
ities were not statistically signicant.
In step 3, the nine dimensions reecting personal ben-
ets were added into the regression equation. The model
explained 21% of the variance in SWB: Fchange (9, 482) =
5.71, p<0.001. The R2 change from step 2 to step 3 was
7%. Education (β=0.11, p<0.01), personal enrichment
(β=0.17, p<0.05), self-expression of individual (β=0.17,
p < 0.05), and self-gratication-enjoyment (β = 0.14,
p<0.05) were signicant. Perseverance (β=0.08, p=0.11)
and eort (β=0.12, p=0.06) were no longer signicant.
In step 4, thethree dimensions reecting social bene-
ts were added into the regression equation. The model
explained 21% of the variance in SWB, and the changes
in F values from step 3 to step 4 were not statistically sig-
nicant: Fchange (3, 479) = 0.96, p=0.41. Since the addition
of three social benets did not change the adjusted R2
and statistically improve the eect size, step 4 appeared
to be an overspecied model. Consistent with step 3, edu-
cation (β=0.11, p<0.05), personal enrichment (β=0.18,
p<0.05), self-expression of individual (β=0.16, p<0.05),
and self-gratication-enjoyment (β=0.14, p<0.05) were
signicant in step 4.
Discussion and conclusion
This study examined how serious leisure qualities contrib-
uted to SWB. While several studies have found that seri-
ous leisure positively aected SWB, it was not clear if they
adequately operationalized the construct. Moreover, the
A four-step hierarchical regression was performed to
analyze the contributions of demographic variables and
serious leisure qualities in relation to SWB. This analytic
approach is suitable for examining the incremental pre-
dictive power of serious leisure qualities. We did not distin-
guish respondents’ level of seriousness during the analysis
because the focus of this study was to understand the var-
ying eect of serious leisure qualities on SWB and further
theoretical clarication is needed to determine the criteria
that distinguish dierent levels of seriousness (see Veal,
2017). In step 1, six demographic variables were entered
into the regression model to control for their eects on the
prediction of SWB. They included age, gender (1=male),
education (0=less than high school, 1=high school grad-
uate, 2=two years college or technical school graduate,
3=bachelor’s degree, 4=professional degree), monthly
income, monthly leisure expenditure, and marital sta-
tus (1 = married). Monthly income and monthly leisure
expenditure weremeasured in 10,000 Korean Won units.
These two variables were included in the analysis because
previous studies found that spending more money on lei-
sure activities (DeLeire & Kalil, 2010) and being married
(Lucas, Clark, Georgellis, &Diener, 2003) were positively
associated with SWB. In step 2, six dimensions represent-
ing perseverance, eort, career, identity, and unique ethos
were added to determine their relative power for explain-
ing SWB. In steps 3 and 4, nine dimensions of personal ben-
ets and three dimensions of social benets were added to
the model, respectively. Personal and social benets were
entered separately because Stebbins (2007) underscored
that personal benets were the most important aspects of
serious leisure participation and suggested that the two
types of benets contribute to SWB dierently. Tolerance
statistics were examined to check for multicollinearity
Table 2.Cronbach’s alpha for the 18 dimensions of serious leisure
inventory measure.
Cronbach’s α
Perseverance 0.84
Effort 0.89
Career contingency 0.69
Career progress 0.84
Personal enrichment 0.80
Self-actualization 0.79
Self-expression of individuals abilities 0.76
Self-expression of abilities 0.81
Self-image 0.70
Self-gratification-satisfaction 0.81
Self-gratification-enjoyment 0.82
Recreation 0.68
Financial return 0.71
Group attraction 0.74
Group accomplishment 0.88
Group maintenance 0.87
Identification 0.87
Unique ethos 0.82
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Table 3.Correlation among 18 dimensions.
*Coefficients were not statistically significant at p<0.05 level.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
1. Perseverance
2. Effort 0.59
3. Career contingencies 0.42 0.65
4. Career progress 0.44 0.59 0.56
5. Personal enrichment 0.37 0.39 0.43 0.33
6. Self-actualization 0.51 0.64 0.62 0.60 0.61
7. Self-expression individual 0.41 0.52 0.60 0.47 0.51 0.69
8. Self-expression ability 0.46 0.62 0.63 0.66 0.48 0.76 0.76
9. Self-image 0.39 0.45 0.49 0.40 0.51 0.61 0.66 0.57
10. Self-gratifi satisfaction 0.43 0.43 0.33 0.42 0.56 0.53 0.40 0.44 0.42
11. Self-gratifi enjoy 0.39 0.42 0.35 0.44 0.48 0.50 0.48 0.46 0.44 0.58
12. Recreation 0.38 0.40 0.33 0.42 0.54 0.50 0.40 0.43 0.43 0.64 0.72
13. Financial return 0.14 0.33 0.33 0.18 0.16 0.28 0.34 0.32 0.23 0.05*0.05*0.06*
14. Group attraction 0.40 0.46 0.44 0.48 0.42 0.56 0.52 0.55 0.47 0.41 0.47 0.50 0.18
15. Group accomplishment 0.45 0.60 0.50 0.53 0.31 0.55 0.50 0.58 0.45 0.34 0.34 0.36 0.26 0.67
16. Group maintenance 0.41 0.50 0.47 0.45 0.34 0.51 0.53 0.53 0.42 0.25 0.30 0.33 0.34 0.66 0.68
17. Identification 0.47 0.55 0.62 0.51 0.47 0.62 0.74 0.70 0.58 0.37 0.42 0.39 0.37 0.54 0.53 0.57
18. Unique ethos 0.52 0.62 0.59 0.57 0.40 0.61 0.61 0.62 0.51 0.37 0.42 0.44 0.30 0.73 0.74 0.75 0.63
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benets were added in step 3. While the R2 changes and
F statistics showed that step 3 was the best regression t
among the four models, personal enrichment, self-expres-
sion of individual, and self-gratication-enjoyment were
the only signicant serious leisure qualities in the model.
Although Kim et al. (2015) excluded durable benets in
their analysis and found that career contingency and eort
qualities positively aected SWB, our results suggested
that durable benets, especially personal benets, should
be included. Thus, the ndings from present study indi-
cated that six distinctive qualities of serious leisure should
be quantied separately.
Personal enrichment, self-expression of individual, and
self-gratication-enjoyment were the only personal bene-
ts positively aected SWB. Personal enrichment refers to
the accumulation of cherished experiences which endow
moral, cultural, or intellectual resources whereas self-ex-
pression of individual means gaining the opportunities
to express personal characteristics and individualities
(Stebbins, 1992, 2007). Their signicance in the present
study echoed Stebbins (2007) explanation that the majority
of serious leisure participants rank these two qualities most
important benets (p. 14). Self-gratication-enjoyment
depicts ‘pure enjoyment’ that is ‘essentially hedonistic’
(Stebbins, 1992, p. 95). It is a distinctive personal benet
that can be obtained from both serious and casual leisure
(Stebbins, 1992, 2007). In sum, our ndings suggested that
leisure participation enhanced respondents’ SWB by pro-
viding cherished and valued experience, opportunities to
express their individuality, and fun and enjoyment.
The signicance of the above three benets can be
explained in light of eudaimonia and hedonia. Eudaimonia
and hedonia are relatively new concepts in the well-being
literature, yet their historical roots can be traced as far back
as Hellenic philosophy (Waterman, 1993). Huta (2013) suc-
cinctly summarized eudaimonia as ‘states and/or pursuits
associated with using and developing the best in oneself,
in accordance with one’s true self and one’s deeper princi-
ples’ (p. 201). Some of the primary features of eudaimonia
include self-realization, identication and development of
one’s best potentials, personal expressiveness, and striv-
ing for authenticity (Huta & Waterman, 2014). The crux of
eudaimonia closely aligns with the concept of personal
enrichment and self-expression of individual. Similarly,
hedonia refers to ‘states and /or pursuits associated with
pleasure and enjoyment, and the absence of pain and
discomfort’ (Huta, 2013, p. 201). It is clear that seeking
pleasure, fun, and enjoyment is a central property of both
hedonia and self-gratication-enjoyment. Thus, these con-
ceptual overlays indicate that eudaimonia and hedonia
can provide new theoretical perspectives on how serious
leisure contributes to SWB.
majority of previous studies focused only on a specic lei-
sure or volunteer activity. This study attempted to address
these issues by measuring serious leisure qualities sepa-
rately and using a sample who participated in a wide range
of activities. Our ndings revealed a complex relationship
between serious leisure and SWB.
Results indicated that serious leisure qualities signi-
cantly contributed to SWB. The R2 change from step 1 to
step 2 showed that the addition of ve serious leisure qual
ities increased the regression model’s eect size from 1 to
14%. Thus, those ve attributes accounted for nearly eight
times more variance in SWB than did the demographic
variables. Moreover, the R2 change from step 2 to step
3 showed that personal benets accounted for an addi-
tional 7% of the variance in SWB. Collectively speaking, the
serious leisure qualities except social benets accounted
for 20% of the variance in SWB.Consistent with previous
studies, these ndings showed that demographic factors
accounted for a relatively small percentage of the vari-
ance in SWB(e.g., Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999)and
serious leisure experience positively contributed to SWB
(e.g.,Chen, 2014; Heo et al., 2010; Pi et al., 2014).
However, it is important to note that the 18 dimen-
sions of serious leisure varied by their eect on SWB.
Perseverance and eort were signicant predictors in
step 2, yet they were no longer signicant when personal
Table 4.Hierarchical multiple regression estimates of subjective
well-being’s standardized beta.
*p<0.05; **p<0.01; ***p<0.001.
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Age 0.002 −0.005 −0.03 −0.03
Education 0.15** 0.13** 0.11** 0.11*
Gender 0.02 −0.07 −0.04 −0.04
Monthly income 0.07 0.08 0.07 0.07
Monthly leisure expenditure −0.02 −0.05 −0.04 −0.03
Marital status −0.01 0.02 0.02 0.02
Perseverance 0.13** 0.08 0.08
Effort 0.16* 0.12 0.1
Career contingency 0.04 0.02 0.02
Career progress 0.03 −0.04 −0.05
Identification 0.03 0.01 0.02
Unique ethos 0.07 0.02 0.01
Personal enrichment 0.17* 0.18*
Self-actualization 0.14 0.14
Self-expression of individual 0.17* 0.16*
Self-expression of abilities 0.02 0.01
Self-image 0.01 0.01
Self-gratification-satisfaction −0.07 −0.08
Self-gratification-enjoyment 0.14* 0.14*
Recreation 0.09 0.10
Financial return −0.02 −0.02
Group attraction −0.004
Group accomplishments 0.09
Group maintenance −0.07
F statistic 2.22* 7.97*** 7.39*** 6.59***
Adjusted R20.01 0.14 0.21 0.21
Adjusted R2 change 0.13 0.07 0
Durbin-Watson 1.66 1.82 1.88 1.87
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This study has two limitations. First, researchers have
noted that SWB can be inuenced by various factors not
included in the present study. Those factors include per-
sonality (Ha & Kim, 2013; Lucas & Diener, 2015), health
conditions, (Kunzmann, Little, & Smith, 2000), religion
(Lelkes, 2006), cultural context, (Tov & Diener, 2007), polit-
ical and economic circumstances (Steele & Lynch, 2012),
and urbanization (Berry & Okulicz-Kozaryn, 2011), to name
a few. While our best model explained approximately 21%
of the variance in SWB, other factors might display greater
explanatory power for SWB. Since they were not available
in our data, other researchers are encouraged to incorpo-
rate them into future investigations of serious leisure and
SWB. Second, our ndings may not address older adults’
serious leisure participation and its impact on SWB since
only two individuals in the sample were 60years old or
older. This characteristic should be taken into account
when interpreting the ndings.
Despite the above limitations, this study contributes
to the literature by providing a better understanding of
serious leisure qualities and their relationships with SWB.
This study found that serious leisure qualities need to be
measured separately because treating it as a monolithic
construct or neglecting some of its main characteristics
in statistical analyzes could yield erroneous results. The
present study also highlighted the importance of personal
benets in SWB. Researchers should be cognizant of these
issues when conducting additional studies on the subject.
Disclosure statement
No potential conict of interest was reported by the authors.
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... As the main attribute of this research, subjective health is chosen as the dependent variable. Regarding the availability of the data and review of the literature, the candidates' variables to account for subjective health are religion, social gathering, economic activity, food, leisure, travel, and art watching [8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]. By comparing various elements as the explanatory variables for subjective health, this research is to identify more influential attributes. ...
... Noll and Weick [16] have also shown that subjective health in Germany is positively influenced by expenditure on leisure. Lee and Hwang [17] and Shams et al. [52] found that quality of leisure is positively associated with subjective health. Given the above, this study proposes further hypotheses as follows: ...
... Also, this study confirmed the findings from extant literature regarding the impact of various factors on subjective health. It provides external validity for prior research in terms of religion [8,12], social gathering [10,20], economic activity [15,19], food expenditure [9,16], leisure expenditure [17,18], travel [54,56], and art watching [11,14]. ...
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Prior studies have challenged the notion that recreationists progress along the specialization continuum over time. Using a sample of 443 Korean hikers, this study aimed to determine whether the relationship of specialization to leisure involvement, leisure satisfaction, and happiness is linear or curvilinear. Further, we examined the potential moderating effect of specialization on the relationship between leisure satisfaction and happiness. Results indicated that hikers showed greater specialization as their behavioral involvement increased to a certain point, beyond which specialization decreased. There were also inverted U-shape curvilinear relationships of specialization to levels of leisure satisfaction and happiness. Moreover, there was a significant moderating effect of specialization on the relationship between leisure satisfaction and happiness. Our findings provide deeper insights into the relationship between specialization, leisure satisfaction, and happiness among hikers. Furthermore, managerial implications for public leisure agencies to improve leisure satisfaction and psychological well-being of hikers were discussed.
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... These findings align with the bottom-up theory of well-being (Heller et al., 2004;Diener et al., 2010;Diener, 1984) and highlight that leisure is one of the most important life domains of African Americans' SWB. Moreover, the findings support previous studies on leisure involvement and serious leisure documenting that in-depth leisure participation positively affects SWB Ito & Hikoji, 2021;Lee & Hwang, 2018;Liu & Yu, 2015;Pan et al., 2018;Yang et al., 2019). ...
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Although outdoor recreation significantly contributes to subjective well-being (SWB), existing studies suggest that African Americans are far less likely to participate in outdoor recreation compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the United States. This study examined African Americans’ leisure involvement in outdoor recreation and its impact on leisure satisfaction and the affective components of SWB. The results showed that the Attraction and Identity Expression dimensions of leisure involvement not only positively affected leisure satisfaction but also indirectly contributed to SWB through leisure satisfaction. Moreover, Identity Affirmation had a significant direct effect on SWB. However, Centrality and Social Bonding had no significant association with leisure satisfaction and SWB. These findings revealed that pleasure and enjoyment derived from outdoor recreation, as well as opportunities to express one’s identity to the self and others, were particularly important for African American outdoor recreationists’ leisure satisfaction and SWB. Overall, the study findings are consistent with existing well-being and leisure literature.
... Life satisfaction was shown to increase with individuals' participation in interest activities (e.g. pet keeping) that makes one experience pleasant emotions and find meaning in life (Lee & Hwang, 2018). Today, for owners, the interaction between them and their pets constitutes their daily life experience, and animals have become an inseparable part of their lives (Dashper & Brymer, 2019). ...
Multispecies leisure has recently become an area of attention. Pet-keeping is one of the popular leisure activities today. This study aims to explore the relationship between pet attachment and life satisfaction, with particular focus on the mediating effect of the leisure seriousness and rewards on the relationship mentioned above. A total of 275 responses were collected at a pet exhibition. SEM and SPSS were employed for data analysis. The results revealed that pet attachment is positively related to pet owners’ life satisfaction. The effects of leisure seriousness, personal reward, and social reward were shown to mediate the relationship between pet attachment and life satisfaction. The pet-keeping practices during the COVID-19 pandemic are provided based the serious leisure perspective.
As leisure awareness has improved, increasing numbers of older adults have begun to participate seriously in leisure activities to experience greater happiness and enhance their quality of life. This study examined the mediating role of subjective well-being in serious leisure and active aging (AA) among older Tai Chi (TC) participants. We proposed a model mediated by subjective well-being and validated this model using stepwise regression and bootstrapping methods. Data were collected from 286 older adults who engaged seriously in TC in Hangzhou, China. The results showed that (a) subjective well-being partially mediates the relationship between serious leisure and AA; (b) subjective well-being partially mediates the relationships between serious leisure and the four subdimensions of AA; (c) among the four subdimensions, the mediating effect of subjective well-being on the relationship between serious leisure and interpersonal support and the direct effect of serious leisure on body vitality are relatively large. These results help explain the intricate relationship between serious leisure and AA among older TC participants and have theoretical and practical implications for those who are interested in the phenomenon of aging.
An increasing number of individuals in leadership roles have a serious leisure interest. We develop a theoretical model of how pursuing serious leisure impacts leaders’ performance at work. We propose that a serious leisure interest, through its defining characteristics (effort in mastering a skill, perseverance through adversity, a special ethos, a strong identity, a leisure career), can both promote and harm leaders’ performance at work and we examine the conditions under which this can happen. Our theory contributes to research on non-work antecedents of leader performance, to the leader identity construction literature, to theories on the work-nonwork interface and to the serious leisure literature.
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Serious, casual, and project-based leisure constitute the foundation of the serious leisure perspective (SLP). So far as we know in the interdisciplinary field of leisure studies, these three forms together embrace all leisure activities. The SLP is the theoretic framework that synthesizes three main forms of leisure showing, at once, their distinctive features, similarities, and interrelationships. More precisely the SLP offers a classification and explanation of all leisure activities and experiences, as these two are framed in the social psychological, social, cultural, geographical, and historical conditions in which each activity and accompanying experience take place.
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The concept of serious leisure (Stebbins, 1992) was used to investigate the social world of shag dancing to determine the reasons for long-term involvement and commitment to the dance. Data were collected over a three-year period through in-depth interviews at regional shag festivals. A method of ethnographic analysis was used to analyze the data (Spradley, 1979). Two types of dancers, casual and serious, were identified and differentiated into five subtypes. Results confirm Stebbins (1992) six qualities of serious leisure. Friendship was cited as the most important reason for long-term involvement and commitment to the dance. Findings indicate the shag world is a combination of serious leisure and casual leisure. Participants choose their level of involvement based on changing lifestyle needs.
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In this investigation, the serious leisure inventory and measure (SLIM) was developed from convenience and target samples. The multidimensional framework of serious leisure contains six qualities from which 18 operations were employed. With the use of a q-sort, an expert panel, and confirmatory factor analysis, the 72 item SLIM demonstrated acceptable fit, reliability and equivalence across samples. Mean differences and correlation patterns found between samples demonstrated preliminary evidence for the predictive ability of the new measure. The SLIM short form (54 items) demonstrated good model fit and construct validity. Future replications are needed to adequately address the psychometric complexities of the SLIM within the network of interrelated leisure constructs.
The Easterlin ParadoxAfter Easterlin (1974)The Pace of Economic Growth and HappinessSummary
The serious leisure perspective (SLP), which divides leisure activities into three distinct forms (serious, casual, and project-based), has been developed by Robert Stebbins over the last 40 years. This article evaluates the perspective as theory and as a typology. The theory associated with the SLP concerning social worlds, identification, and optimal leisure lifestyles is found to be generally untested because it has been developed in relation to the serious leisure form only. The validity of the typology is questioned on the grounds that “seriousness” is a continuum, rather than discrete categories, and that most leisure activities can be engaged in with varying degrees of seriousness. It is proposed that the SLP be replaced by a more flexible, open research approach, the Leisure Experience Perspective, which consolidates features of the SLP and other research traditions and theoretical perspectives.
What is education for? Should it produce workers or educate future citizens? Is there a place for faith schools - and should patriotism be taught?. In this compelling and controversial book, Harry Brighouse takes on all these urgent questions and more. He argues that children share four fundamental interests: the ability to make their own judgements about what values to adopt; acquiring the skills that will enable them to become economically self-sufficient as adults; being exposed to a range of activities and experiences that will enable them to flourish in their personal lives; and developing a sense of justice. He criticises sharply those who place the interests of the economy before those of children, and assesses the arguments for and against the controversial issues of faith schools and the teaching of patriotism. Clearly argued but provocative, On Education draws on recent examples from Britain and North America as well as famous thinkers on education such as Aristotle and John Locke. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the present state of education and its future.