Stress, resilience, and leisure coping among university students : applying the broaden-and-build theory

DENOVAN, Andrew and MACASKILL, Ann (2017). Stress, resilience, and leisure coping among university students : applying the broaden-and-build theory. Leisure Studies, 36 (6), 852-865.

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    Iwasaki and Mannell (2000) defined leisure as a coping strategy in their hierarchical model demonstrating the psychosocial functions of leisure and its relationship to stress. Evidence suggests that leisure coping is affiliated with resilience, and that both predict stress-coping and wellbeing. However, a theoretical explanation of how resilience is associated with the stress-reducing properties of leisure coping is lacking. Using the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 2001), a model was developed proposing that resilient individuals proactively use leisure coping to cultivate positive emotions and in turn enhance wellbeing. Leisure coping and positive affect were suggested to mediate the relationship between resilience and wellbeing outcomes (stress and flourishing). The model was tested among 202 UK undergraduates, a population reported to experience high stress. Structural equation modelling revealed that resilience had a significant positive effect on flourishing. Leisure coping beliefs demonstrated a positive relationship with resilience, positive affect, and flourishing. Positive affect mediated the relationship between resilience and flourishing, and between resilience and stress. Leisure coping strategies did not meaningfully contribute to the model. Leisure beliefs may have emerged as more important than leisure strategies because leisure beliefs are relatively stable with more enduring effects on health and wellbeing, while leisure strategies are transient and situation-based. Future research should examine the relationships longitudinally to explore developmental change. Implications of the findings for undergraduates are discussed. Keywords: flourishing; leisure coping; positive emotion; resilience; student stress

    Item Type: Article
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Psychology Research Group
    Identification Number:
    Page Range: 852-865
    Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
    Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2016 10:40
    Last Modified: 08 Jul 2019 14:49

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