Leisure Time Use, Meaning of Life, and Psychological Distress: Comparing Canadian and Korean Older Adults

David Kaufman, Mi Ok Chang, Alice Ireland

Abstract


Older adults’ day-to-day leisure time activities both reflect and stimulate physical, cognitive, and social capacities that contribute to their quality of life. To better understand how leisure activity choices and possible impacts vary across two cultures, this questionnaire-based study compared leisure time use, perceived meaning of life, and psychological distress for 617 older adults in Canada (n=298) and the Republic of Korea (Korea) (n=319). Compared to Koreans, Canadian respondents spent more time overall in leisure activities and devoted a higher percentage of their total leisure time to active, rather than passive, activities. They spent significantly more of their time on cognitively active activities, while Koreans preferred socially and physically active ones and scored significantly higher on both meaning of life and psychological distress. Both groups spent more of their time watching television than on any other single reported activity. Age group, retirement status, health, education, and income varied across the two countries and were significantly associated with aspects of leisure time use for each group. The results identify areas for improvement if Canadian and Korean older adults’ leisure time use is to effectively support their aging well.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v2n4p327

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