Exploring vcr use as a leisure activity

Cynthia J. Wachter, John R. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On the basis of a uses-and-gratifications perspective, this exploratory study examined the TV viewing and VCR use of a sample of 119 households with VCRs. The instrument developed for use in this study consisted of a TV and VCR diary in which respondents recorded a variety of information related to each viewing (or recording) occasion for 1 week. The results suggest that although the ability to manipulate the broadcast schedule was a valued feature of the VCR, VCR use merely enhanced established patterns of TV viewing rather than significantly altered TV viewing or leisure behavior. The playback function of the VCR represented a primarily solitary activity pursued for entertainment and relaxation. Watching rented movies represented a primarily social activity pursued for entertainment, relaxation, and companionship. An equal number of television programs were viewed alone as were viewed with others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-227
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Active audience
  • Media
  • Social context
  • Uses and gratifications
  • VCR
  • Video

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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