The role of leisure style in maintaining the health of older adults with arthritis

Laura L. Payne, Andrew J. Mowen, Julian Montoro-Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the role of leisure style in relation to the perceived physical and mental health of older adults with self-reported arthritis. A model of successful aging was used as a conceptual framework to examine the relationship between the type of leisure styles and physical and mental health. Altogether, 464 adults over the age of 50 completed a questionnaire that assessed perceived physical and mental health, health history, pain severity (a proxy for arthritis severity), leisure style, social interaction with friends, and socio-demographics. Results indicated that type of leisure style had a significant role in the relationship between arthritis severity and perceived physical health. The main effect, leisure repertoire size was positively related to perceived physical health. That is, the broader the leisure repertoire, the higher the reported health. In terms of mental health, frequency of social interaction with friends was positively related to perceived mental health. Results are discussed in terms of leisure as a buffer for the negative effects of arthritis on health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-45
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Aging
  • Arthritis severity
  • Leisure styles
  • Physical & mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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