Are people who participate in cultural activities more satisfied with life?

Brown, J. L., MacDonald, R. and Mitchell, R. (2015) Are people who participate in cultural activities more satisfied with life? Social Indicators Research, 122(1), pp. 135-146. (doi: 10.1007/s11205-014-0678-7)

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The influence of various aspects of life on wellbeing has been extensively researched. However, despite little empirical evidence, participation in leisure activities has been assumed to increase subjective wellbeing. Leisure is important because it is more under personal control than other sources of life satisfaction. This study asked whether people who participate in cultural leisure activities have higher life satisfaction than people who do not, if different types of leisure have the same influence on life satisfaction and if satisfaction is dependent on the frequency of participation or the number of activities undertaken. It used data from UKHLS Survey to establish associations between type, number and frequency of participation in leisure activities and life satisfaction. Results showed an independent and positive association of participation in sport, heritage and active-creative leisure activities and life satisfaction but not for participation in popular entertainment, theatre hobbies and museum/galleries. The association of reading hobbies and sedentary-creative activities and life satisfaction was negative. High life satisfaction was associated with engaging in a number of different activities rather than the frequency of participation in each of them. The results have implications for policy makers and leisure services providers, in particular those associated with heritage recreation. Subjective wellbeing measures, such as life satisfaction, and not economic measures alone should be considered in the evaluation of services. The promotion of leisure activities which are active and promote social interaction should be considered in programmes aimed at improving the quality of life.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The final publication is available at Springer via
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Rich and MacDonald, Professor Ronald and Brown, Dr Jennifer
Authors: Brown, J. L., MacDonald, R., and Mitchell, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Social Indicators Research
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISSN (Online):1573-0921
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
First Published:First published in Social Indicators Research 2014
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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