Deconstructing serious leisure using identity theory

Jin Hyung Lee, Sunwoo Lee, Jinmoo Heo, David Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Stebbins’s concept of serious leisure has been widely used to delineate and describe an intense form of leisure participation. To date, however, the causal relationships among the six distinguishing characteristics of serious leisure have not been sufficiently substantiated and empirically examined. Guided by identity theory, this study developed a causal model among four individual level behavioral and psychological characteristics of serious leisure and level of commitment. Data were collected via mail surveys from members of the American Birding Association (N = 954). Results of structural equation modeling indicated that: (a) durable benefits positively affected commitment, identity, perseverance, and effort; (b) commitment positively influenced perseverance and effort; and (c) identity positively affected perseverance and effort. Results provide evidence that identity and commitment play mediating roles between durable benefits and other facets of serious leisure experience (i.e., perseverance, effort). These findings highlight the pivotal role of durable benefits in serious leisure participation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-618
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Primus Research Programme at Charles University [grant no. 247054].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 National Recreation and Park Association.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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