Leisure and psychosocial functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic: Exploring data from adolescents and parents of adolescents

Jennifer P. Agans, Steven Hanna, Katrina Black Reed, Cami Stillwell, Sunhye Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people experienced life disruptions affecting leisure activities, such as discontinuation of after-school activities for adolescents and changes in the amount of leisure time available for parents. Because leisure activities have previously been associated with psychosocial functioning, the present study examined leisure behaviors and psychosocial functioning among 158 parents/guardians of adolescents and 116 of their children during the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Results indicated that time spent engaging with TV, video games, and social media during the pandemic was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety for both parents and adolescents. Retrospective reports indicating decreased leisure time socialization were also associated with depressive symptoms during the pandemic in both groups. These results highlight the importance of leisure for both adolescents and parents of adolescents and its capacity to support or undermine psychosocial functioning in challenging times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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