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Leisure Activities and Life Satisfaction: an Analysis with German Panel Data

Author

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  • Claudia Schmiedeberg

    () (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

  • Jette Schröder

    () (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)

Abstract

Abstract Given the nature of leisure as largely uncoerced and not necessary for survival it seems obvious at a first glance that leisure activities should contribute to happiness. Indeed, recent research has found positive effects of leisure activities on subjective well-being. In this article, we analyze the association between leisure activities and life satisfaction based on longitudinal data from Germany. By applying fixed-effects regression models we are able to rule out potential bias due to unobserved heterogeneity in time-constant variables. We use data from three waves of the German Family Panel (pairfam), a large, randomly sampled longitudinal study of adolescents and adults (aged 15–41 across the observation period), to test the effects of five leisure activities (sports; vacation; meeting with friends; internet use; and TV viewing) on respondents’ life satisfaction. Our results indicate that meeting with friends, doing sports, and going on vacation contributes positively to life satisfaction whereas internet use for personal purposes and TV consumption are negatively related to life satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Schmiedeberg & Jette Schröder, 2017. "Leisure Activities and Life Satisfaction: an Analysis with German Panel Data," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 12(1), pages 137-151, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ariqol:v:12:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11482-016-9458-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11482-016-9458-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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