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Open Access Thesis


Leisure--China; Quality of life--China; Adulthood--China; Adulthood; Leisure; Quality of life; China;


Society has entered a new millennium where quality of life is receiving more attention than ever before. In China, with the rapidly developing economy, the need for improving the quality of life has also increased. Research has shown that leisure can contribute to quality of life issues. It is very important to understand the characteristics of leisure participation and life satisfaction among middle-aged and elderly Chinese people. This can help leisure professionals to develop suitable leisure programs and improve the life satisfaction of Chinese.

One hundred fifty subjects (69 males and 81 females) living in China participated in this study. Their age ranged from 50 to 75. A questionnaire was developed to collect data.

From this study, it was found that urban middle-aged and elderly Chinese preferred watching TV and family get-togethers for their leisure activities. Reading and socializing with friends were also very popular. On the other hand, most people never kept pets. Males were more likely to play Chinese chess than were females. Females were more involved in hobbies, visiting parks and keeping pets than were males. Among the arts-related activities, listening to music was the most popular activity reported by the participants. Meanwhile, very few people frequently played musical instruments. The percentage of arts-related activities participation by males was higher than that of females. In sports activities participation, walking or jogging was the first choice of most people. Males participated in more competitive, skill-needed activities and outdoor activities than did females. Females preferred to participate in fitness activities, such as fitness dancing and Yang Ge. Different-aged people had different preferences in their leisure participation. Educational background directly influences people's leisure participation. Higher educated people had wider interests and were generally more active in leisure participation.

A positive relation was found between leisure participation and life satisfaction. This study showed that the more urban middle-aged and elderly people participated in leisure activities, arts-related activities, or sports activities, the greater life satisfaction they experienced.

Furthermore, an inverse relationship was found between leisure participation, general leisure activities and sports activities, and depression. In other words, the more the people were involved in leisure participation, general leisure activities, or sports activities, the less depression they had.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Susan D. Hudson

Second Advisor

Christopher R. Edginton

Third Advisor

Larry Hensley


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Date Original


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