Self-determination and free time activity participation as predictors of initiative

Clifton E. Watts, Linda L. Caldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The need to understand the effect of free time contexts on positive behavioral outcomes for youth is driving a large body of research in the area of youth development. Larson proposed the outcome of initiative as a point of study for these contexts. Initiative is demonstrated by persistence through challenge over time and is theorized to develop in structured activity environments that promote intrinsic motivation. Using Larson's conceptualization as a guide, we sought to examine the influence of adolescent motivation and free time activity participation on adolescent initiative. Findings largely support Larson's conceptualization, and add to it by articulating the potentially detrimental effect of amotivation on the development of initiative. The discussion focuses on the relative importance of structured activities to adolescent development and how free time contexts can support these factors through supporting youth's self-determination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-181
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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