Internalizing Serious Leisure As a Means to Promote Well-Being

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 10:00
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
KoFan LEE, University of Mississippi, USA
Serious leisure (SL) is an ongoing, systematic pursuit of the skills, knowledge and experiences required in a leisure activity (Stebbins, 2007). To become serious, a recreationist immerses into the subculture of a particular SL activity and establishes a leisure identity and career (Shipway & Jones, 2008). Ultimately, it becomes a central life interest (Stebbins, 2007). Since abundant information shows how SL leads to various benefits (Brown, 2007; Stalp & Conti, 2011), the subsequent need is to examine the link between SL and well-being (Stebbins, 2007). Several reasons support this need. First, recent empirical evidence shows that there are multiple motivations for SL and that identified regulation is a stronger motivation for serious leisure experiences, compared to other motivations in line with the Organismic Integration Theory (Lee, 2013). Identified regulation means that recreationists internalize the norms and values of an SL subculture. The process of internalization provides a sense of volition and a sense of freedom, which lead to psychological well-being (Ryan, Huta, & Deci, 2008). Further, previous studies reveal that less-internalized experiences, such as peer-pressure (Stebbins, 2005) and gender expectation (Dilley & Scranton, 2010), can discourage recreationists from engagements. A lower sense of volition may lead to reduced well-being. For example, Vallerand et al. (2006) found that a passion for sports driven by external regulations leads to negative emotions. Moreover, SL influences one’s lifestyle in ways that may not be recognized by outsiders (Anderson & Taylor, 2010; Dilley & Scranton, 2010). The interaction of SL and other life domains may have a profound effect on how we define a good life. However, the levels of internalization may determine how recreationists’ capacities to cope with the conflicts between SL and other life domains, and ultimately achieve an optimal leisure lifestyle (Stebbins, 2005).