LEISURE AND YOUTHS: A STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING ANALYSIS BY FREQUENCY OF LEISURE PURSUITS AND PERCEIVED STRESS REDUCTION
 
Koh, M. and Nair, E., National University of Singapore, Singapore
 
It is typical of youths to actively pursue leisure pursuits. This is possibly driven by the desire to fulfill certain needs like affiliation and achievement needs, which is more salient at this developmental stage. As the frequency of their leisure pursuits increase, these needs may be fulfilled. This exploratory research tested a hypothesized leisure-stress model using structural equation analysis, predicting a coherent relationship between frequency of leisure pursuits which leads to needs fulfillment and perceived stress in youths, with a positive mediating role fulfilled by their leisure pursuits. Following a pilot survey, 174 students (94 males, 79 females, 1 gender unidentified) from an elite Junior College in Singapore were administered a test battery consisting of a leisure inventory incorporating frequency of participation, a leisure satisfaction scale, an intrinsic leisure motivation scale, a perceived stress scale and subscales tapping nAch and nAff. Four categories of leisure activities were identified, namely, Transitional, Relaxed, Affiliative and Learning Activities. Individual models for each activity was constructed and tested. After specification, the final model reflected that participation in Affiliative and Learning Activities had a direct effect on leisure satisfaction while Transitional and Relaxed Activities had an indirect effect via intrinsic leisure motivation. Intrinsic motivation incorporated challenging and absorbing elements, and higher levels of reported intrinsic leisure motivation were positively correlated with leisure satisfaction. Satisfaction with leisure correlated directly with lower levels of perceived stress. The hypothesized leisure-stress model was therefore supported.