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Subjective and Objective Aspects of Free Time: The Italian Case


  • Isabella Mingo


  • Silvia Montecolle



This study investigates two distinct but interrelated phenomena—that of experienced leisure and that of perceived leisure—in order to determine empirically whether and how the perception and use of free time affects an individual’s level of satisfaction. The analysis was conducted on a sample of approximately 50,000 individuals, representative of the Italian population. It focused on the person-centred sphere of leisure: both the objective aspect—that is, participation in leisure activities—and the subjective aspects—that is, the different meanings of leisure and levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction expressed by the subjects—were investigated. By applying multivariate analytical techniques (Multiple Correspondence Analysis and Cluster Analysis), synthetic indices were calculated and subject typologies were developed. Logistic regression models were also used to investigate the relationship between perception, activity and satisfaction. The results confirmed that the objective and subjective aspects are interrelated: there are specific activities related to the type of perception of leisure activities which contribute significantly to making a person happy. There are other aspects, however, such as relational activities and sports, which are important for the satisfaction of those whose conception of leisure seems discordant with respect to such activities. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Isabella Mingo & Silvia Montecolle, 2014. "Subjective and Objective Aspects of Free Time: The Italian Case," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 425-441, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:15:y:2014:i:2:p:425-441
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-013-9429-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ariel Rodríguez & Pavlína Látková & Ya-Yen Sun, 2008. "The relationship between leisure and life satisfaction: application of activity and need theory," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 163-175, March.
    2. Unger, Lynette S & Kernan, Jerome B, 1983. " On the Meaning of Leisure: An Investigation of Some Determinants of the Subjective Experience," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 381-392, March.
    3. Andreja Brajša-Žganec & Marina Merkaš & Iva Šverko, 2011. "Quality of Life and Leisure Activities: How do Leisure Activities Contribute to Subjective Well-Being?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 81-91, May.
    4. Kathleen Lloyd & Christopher Auld, 2002. "The Role of Leisure in Determining Quality of Life: Issues of Content and Measurement," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 43-71, January.
    5. Susan Clark & Andrew Harvey & Susan Shaw & William Michelson, 1990. "Time use and leisure: Subjective and objective aspects," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 337-352, December.
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    1. Yolal, Medet & Gursoy, Dogan & Uysal, Muzaffer & Kim, Hyelin (Lina) & Karacaoğlu, Sıla, 2016. "Impacts of festivals and events on residents’ well-being," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-18.


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