Serious Leisure, Life Satisfaction, and Health of Older Adults

Jinmoo Heo, Robert A. Stebbins, Junhyoung Kim, Inheok Lee

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87 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored the relationships among serious leisure, life satisfaction, and health. The study sample consisted of 454 older adults from two annual events: the 2008 Indiana Senior Olympic Games and 2008 Colorado Senior Olympic Games. Cluster analysis was used to identify distinct groups based upon patterns of serious leisure involvement. In addition, relations among life satisfaction, health, and membership in serious leisure clusters were documented. This analysis resulted in three clusters, and they were named high/medium/low involvement groups. A one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was employed to determine cluster differences in life satisfaction, physical health, and mental health. MANOVA results revealed significant differences among the clusters on dependent variables. The findings document significant heterogeneity in the expression of serious leisure involvement among the Senior Games participants. The results also suggest that there are positive relationships between level of involvement in serious leisure and life satisfaction and health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-32
Number of pages17
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received 22 August 2011; accepted 16 April 2012. The authors would like to thank Sheri Lobmeyer at Greeley Senior Activity Center for assistance collecting data. Funding for this study was provided through the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. Address correspondence to Jinmoo Heo, Department of Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management, Indiana University – Indianapolis, 901 W. New York St. PE258G, Indianapolis, IN 46202. E-mail:

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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