Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Abstract

Participation in couple leisure is related to marital satisfaction as well as lower divorce rates; however, Americans seem to have less time available to participate in couple leisure and may have a harder time attaining role balance. There is currently limited research about how role balance may affect leisure as well as how couples manage to balance their leisure time with their other responsibilities, ensuring they have time to spend together in high interaction leisure. We also know very little about other possible benefits couples may experience as a result of participating in couple leisure and the factors that may either facilitate or constrain positive leisure. Using a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis, and informed by symbolic interaction theory, I interviewed nine couples in order to explore the phenomenon of newlywed couple leisure, and address these issues. Couples found significant benefits and meaning through participation in couple leisure activities. They also perceived that participation in leisure together increased satisfaction with their marriages. Many factors were found to constrain or facilitate a positive leisure experience, including time, money, and others. It was found that role balance plays a large part in finding time to participate in leisure as a couple. Being able to role balance helped couples to better enjoy the benefits and meaning couple leisure provided.

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