The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of leisure activities to optimism and personal growth among older adults. We used data from the Alameda County Health and Ways of Living Study. The sample consisted of 1600 individuals who were 60 years of age and older. While the literature shows that participating in leisure activities is relevant to improving the well-being of older adults, the impact of such participation across various age groups is yet to be determined. We employed a one-way multivariate analysis of variance to determine the age group differences with regard to optimism and personal growth. We also used a series of hierarchical regression models to examine the contribution of the types of leisure activities on optimism and personal growth across various age groups. The ability of leisure activity variables to predict optimism was the highest for the old-old group. The old-old group demonstrated the highest level of predictability from the leisure activity variables regarding personal growth. We suggest that professionals need to provide carefully selected leisure activities to enhance optimism and personal growth for clients within different age groups. Professionals may include a variety of physical, social, and volunteering activities for the young-old and old-old groups while more casual leisure activities such as community activities and entertainment can be offered to the adults of 80 years and older.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology