• What types of leisure activities do adults exhibit?

• What developmental differences are there in leisure activities?

• What do people derive from leisure activities?


nthony is a 55-year-old electrician who has enjoyed outdoor activities his whole life. From the time he was a boy, he has fished and water-skied in the calm inlets of coastal Florida. Although he doesn’t compete in slalom races any more, Anthony still skis regularly. He still participates in fishing com­petitions every chance he gets.

Adults do not work every waking moment of their lives. As each of us knows, we need to relax sometimes and engage in leisure activities. Intuitively, leisure consists of activities not associ­ated with work. More formally, researchers define leisure as discretionary activity, which includes sim­ple relaxation, activities for enjoyment, creative pur­suits, and s ensual transcendence (Gordon, Gaitz, & Scott, 1976). However, men and women differ in their views of leisure, as do people in differ­ent ethnic groups (Henderson, 1990). For example, one study of African American women revealed that they view leisure as both freedom from the

constraint of needing to work and as a form of self­expression (Allen & Chin-Sang, 1990).