Leisure activities, age, and adult roles across the lifespan

D. Wayne Osgood, Hyunkee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


This study concerns changes across the lifespan in the frequency of participation in a variety of leisure activities common in everyday life, particularly how those changes are related to family and work roles. This focus on leisure is of general sociological interest because it provides a bridge between the organization of the life course imposed by the social structure and its consequences for individuals’ lives. Our general hypothesis is that involvements in primary roles, in the domains of marriage, living arrangements, parenthood, and work, bring obligations and opportunities that affect participation in activities in other domains of life. We further hypothesize that the relationship of role statuses to leisure activities will explain much of the age trends in leisure activities. The analysis includes 11 leisure activities and is based on a representative sample of 827 Nebraskans, covering the full adult age span. We use polynomial regression to establish the continuous, curvilinear relationship between age and leisure, and we compare regression models with and without controls for role statuses. The findings demonstrate substantial relationships between leisure participation and both age and role statuses. These work and family roles account for a varying, and sometimes substantial, portion, of the change in leisure participation over the adult life course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-208
Number of pages28
JournalLoisir et Societe
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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