Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Community organization; Recreation--Social aspects;


From the early 1990’s until present, behavioral characteristics of serious leisure pursuers has been associated with a culture of commitment. Ardent leisure pursuers establish commitment as they continually and seriously engage in their leisure pursuit(s) or interest(s). Characteristics of serious leisure pursuers include the demonstration of personal effort, perseverance and strong identification with a leisure pursuit such that one’s seriousness and commitment is accentuated. There are psychological, physical and socioeconomic benefits that individuals gain from their serious leisure pursuits. These individual benefits of serious leisure involvement are enormous. However, little or nothing is known about possible community development implications from serious leisure involvement and currently, no study has empirically examined community benefits and/or the development that may emerge from this leisure perspective.

The primary purpose of this study, therefore, is to expand the knowledge of the Serious Leisure Perspective (SLP) and investigate how serious leisure involvement can influence community development. The study looked at community development as defined by one’s community engagement. Since serious leisure pursuit(s) have been a major factor in providing life satisfaction, self-actualization, enrichment and improvement of one’s quality of life, it is important to understand the role of serious leisure in developing a community.

Using mixed method research approach and purposive sampling, 202 individuals involved in different leisure activities from various leisure and recreation organizations participated in the quantitative part of the study and 11 participants were recruited for in- depth interviews. Analytical findings from both quantitative and qualitative data were integrated and reported as a coherent whole.

Findings indicated that serious leisure involvement is absolutely and positively related to community development as defined by one’s community engagement, and the former significantly predicts the latter at 99% confidence interval. Themes that emerged suggest that serious leisure pursuers do not only facilitate a continuous process of active community for unrestricted holistic health development but also foster sustainable environment, and develop strong leisure communities that advance leisure education as a process for development. In addition, social inclusion emerged as an antecedent for community development and a benefit of serious leisure involvement. Implications of the results are discussed.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services

First Advisor

Christopher R. Edginton, Chair

Second Advisor

Rodney B. Dieser, Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xiii, 205 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download