The occupation of leisure: Three typologies and their influence on mental health in adolescence
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In the occupational therapy literature reviewed, limited empirical research has tested the links between the occupation of leisure and health. This study examines the influences of leisure participation on mental health outcomes in adolescents and investigates the mediating constructs of self-efficacy, competence, and global self-worth as hypothesized in an a priori model developed from earlier research. With the use of a population-based approach, this study surveyed 850 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, using a standardized self-report battery. Structural equation modeling was employed to investigate relationships and test the goodness-of-fit of the hypothesized model. Results demonstrate that leisure participation has a significant and positive relationship with mental health, and positively influences self-efficacy, competence, and global self-worth. However, results also show that only selected forms of leisure are positive influences on adolescent mental health development. These findings provide evidence to support a theoretical basis for the relationship between the occupation of leisure and health, and are discussed in relation to occupational therapy ideology.
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