Health behaviors of leisure alienated youth

Linda L. Caldwell, Edward A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The purpose of our study was to explore the relationship of youth who appeared alienated in their leisure to health compromising, or at-risk, behaviors. A survey of 2, 756 youth in 1994 indicated that approximately 9% were bored during leisure and 18% used leisure as a means to get back at society or their parents. Compared to their peers, these alienated youth were more likely to engage in a number of health compromising behaviors including: smoking, heavy use of alcohol, and vomiting on purpose. They were also more likely to be depressed and to have attempted suicide in the past twelve months. Females who were bored generally participated in less leisure activities than their contemporaries while bored males were less likely to go out in the evenings for fun. Participation in organized sports and clubs was also measured. Findings from this study call into question the positive benefits derived from leisure participation for this group of adolescents who appear leisure alienated, and more importantly, raise questions about why leisure alienated youth participate in health compromising behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-156
Number of pages14
JournalLoisir et Societe
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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