Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Ieva Valentinaviciute 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

I am Ieva and I will soon complete my BSc. in Applied Psychology at IADT. One of my biggest goals in life is to be able to help people. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do so at the Peter Mc Verry Trust graduate program. After completing the graduate program, I plan to continue my studies at master's level. I believe that leisure is a vital part of life, therefore, I decided to research this topic for my final year major research project, which is summarized below.

Project Description

Title: Investigating the Effects of Life Satisfaction and Gender on Leisure Perception.

125 participants were recruited using convenience sampling. The participants included 69 women (55%), 46 men (37%), and 10 non-binary (8%) people. The age range was from 18yrs to 41yrs. However, the majority of participants were college students in their 20s. The study was conducted online and used two scales. The first measured the level of general satisfaction with life (Diener et al., 1985) and the second measured to what extent people perceive leisure as wasteful (Tonietto et al., 2021). Version 28 of IBM SPSS statistics software was used to analyse the data. There were two hypothesis in the study:

H1 There will be a relationship between leisure perception and life satisfaction.

H2 There will be a difference for participants in their perception of leisure based on gender.

Project Objectives

The present study aimed to (1) investigate if there is a relationship between leisure perception and life satisfaction and (2) whether there is a gender difference in leisure perception. Leisure time has become increasingly scarce, with many individuals reporting feeling rushed and lacking adequate time for leisure. However, leisure has been shown to have numerous benefits and is a crucial component of overall well-being, therefore research on leisure is important. Previous research suggests that individuals who perceive leisure as wasteful or unproductive may have lower life satisfaction. This study aimed to replicate these findings within an Irish sample and answer the question “Is there a relationship between leisure perception and life satisfaction?  “. Furthermore, a gap in the literature was discovered. The known studies on beliefs about leisure did not examine gender as a variable. Research reports that women often have less time for leisure due to gender roles and unpaid labour responsibilities such as childcare, cooking, and cleaning. This may negatively impact how women perceive the usefulness of leisure. Therefore, the second research question in the current study was “Is there a difference in how different genders perceive leisure? “

Project Outcomes

The results of the study showed that individuals who view leisure as wasteful and unproductive tend to have lower life satisfaction than those who view leisure as a good use of time. This finding supports previous research in the area and highlights the importance of fostering a more positive view of leisure. For example, if a 4-day work week was implemented, people would have more time for leisure and may view it more positively. However, the study found no significant relationship between gender and leisure perception, contrary to the hypothesis. It is worth noting that the sample mainly consisted of college students, who might not have extensive domestic responsibilities, which might limit the generalizability of the study's findings. Previous studies that reported that women haves less time for leisure due to being responsible for unpaid work mostly consisted of people who are married and have children. Despite the limitations, the results are still promising as they suggest that gender roles may be changing and there is gender equality in leisure beliefs. Overall, this study sheds light on the relationship between life satisfaction and leisure perception and adds to the limited research on gender differences in leisure perception. Further research is needed to explore these relationships and determine how to foster a more positive view of leisure.