Although there is considerable ambiguity in the way the term leisure is understood, academics who study it are inclined to see it either as an intrinsically motivated activity that occurs during free time or simply free time itself. Activities such as play, sport, hobbies, outdoor recreation, socializing, and tourism are common foci for leisure studies, but leisure may be as much about being passive, relaxed, and receptive as being actively engaged physically or socially. Its relation to human development can be characterized in three essential ways: (a) leisure-related behavior changes in somewhat predictable ways over the course of the life span; (b) leisure activity influences development; and (c) leisure plays a role in moderating the effects of life events. This entry reviews each of these ...

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