Divergent experiences of family leisure: Fathers, mothers, and young adolescents

Reed W. Larson, Sally A. Gillman, Maryse H. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mothers, fathers, and young adolescents in 55 European American families carried pagers for one week and reported on their experience at random times when signaled. All family members indicated high levels of freedom during family and home leisure activities, but they differed on other dimensions. Mothers reported less positive affect than fathers. Mothers' role of family caretaker may make it harder to enjoy family leisure, while fathers, whose family role is often defined as 'primary breadwinner", may find it easier to use this time for diversion and self-expression. Adolescents experienced lower intrinsic motivation and less positive affect than parents during family leisure. Adolescents have a larger, more rewarding arena of non- family leisure that may better serve their developmental needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-97
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Adolescents
  • Experience
  • Family leisure
  • Men
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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