An investigation of leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction in older adults

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A three part survey instrument was distributed to 84 adults over the age of 60, to assess leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction. The specific areas of investigation were i) the relationship between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction, and ii) the relationship between leisure satisfaction and income, health, quality of friendship and activity participation. Subjects for the study were associated with one of seven participating agencies and organizations. These groups consisted of a recreation center, nursing homes and retirement communities.

The data were analyzed using correlation coefficients, chi-squares and discriminant analysis. No systematic relationship was found between leisure satisfaction and life satisfaction (correlation coefficient of 0.17), or between leisure satisfaction and income (0.23), health (0.15), or quality of friendship (0.10). Using chi-squares, significant differences were found between six of ten paired activities, with regard to level of leisure satisfaction.

The results of the discriminant analysis procedure indicated that length of time in current state of health was the most discriminating variable between low and high leisure satisfaction. Other discriminating variables were identified, which may provide a basis from which to consider future research.