Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Korean teenager deviance, school violence, and school dropout caused by academic stress are serious social issues within the country. High levels of student stress are likely to bring about depression and suicide resulting in a significant effect on their psychological well-being and life satisfaction. It is of particular concern for middle school students experiencing rapid physical and psychological developmental changes without proper support. Forty-five percent of Korean students’ indicated stress in their life and 27% experienced depression (Statistics Korea, 2019). Also, Korean middle school students (27.3%) have suicide impulse (Youm & Kim, 2019). These youth development issues are considered social problems not only in Korean society among other countries around the world (Adams et al., 1994; Nrugham et al., 2015)

In an attempt to reduce student stress due to high academic pressures and other burdens, out-of-school leisure activities become an important part of life for adolescence to learn how to manage their mental and emotional states, improve their cognitive abilities, and encourage self-autonomy. Leisure may play a more significant role adolescents' wellbeing and quality of life than currently valued in Korean society. Specific activities, such as organized leisure-time activities may provide balance and restoration that improves an adolescent’s overall cognitive function, academic achievement, and school engagement both in short- and long-term outcomes (Badura et al., 2016).

This research investigated Korean adolescent self-reported free time usage and their leisure activities tendencies by analyzing the relationship between Korean middle school students' leisure activity types and their psychological well-being. This study found that students' participation in leisure activities based on physical activity had a positive effect on students' stress relief. Creative leisure activities had a higher correlation with students' academic self-efficacy than any other type of leisure activity. Individual leisure activities had a more positive effect on students' psychological well-being, stress, and academic efficacy than other group or team leisure activities.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services

First Advisor

Kathleen Scholl, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xiv, 178 pages)



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