Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management


McGuire, Francis A


A substantial literature describes factors that prevent people from participating in and enjoying leisure and recreation activities. These factors have often been regarded as negative and helping individuals use strategies to maintain participation has been advised. The primary purpose of this study was to explore whether losses catalyzed selective optimization of resources. This exploratory research investigated the relationship among (1) life satisfaction, (2) change in leisure behavior, (3) life management strategies of selection, optimization, and compensation, (4) enhancement outcomes, and (5) leisure satisfaction. The participants of the study were recruited from older adults who attended activities and classes provided by South Carolina Senior Solutions, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Emeritus College at Clemson University. The surveys were collected online as well as in-person. The survey instrument included seven sections: (1) Significant life events, (2) Activity participation, (3) Enhancement, (4) Life management, (5) How I feel about my life, (6) My leisure activities, and (7) Socio-demographics. A total of 345 surveys were collected. To investigate the research questions several linear regressions were conducted. The results of the study showed the relationship between change in leisure participation and the indicators of well-being (satisfaction with life and leisure) was complex. The results are summarized and discussed in five categories (1) the relationship between change in leisure behavior and satisfaction with leisure and life, (2) the relationship between selective optimization with compensation and satisfaction with leisure and life, (3) the relationship between enhancement outcomes and satisfaction with life and leisure, (4) the interaction between SOC and change in leisure behavior, and (5) the relationship among change in leisure behavior, selective optimization with compensation, and enhancement outcomes. The results of this study are important in expanding researchers' understanding of the relationship between change in leisure behavior and well-being.