Douglas Kleiber argues that the value of leisure for development lies in the particular experiences derived from those leisure activities. Experiences that fulfill a need for autonomy, competence, self-expression, and relatedness that provide a dialectical response to one's prevailing patterns of living or that address age-related tasks are generative of development and self-actualization. Kleiber reviews the predictable changes in leisure behaviour over the life span, noting that activities stimulating developmental change are adopted less often and less effectively than they might be. He then considers the role that leisure experience can play in addressing the problems of socialization, identity formation, and adjustment to life circumstances, concluding with a discussion of optimizing leisure later in life.
Douglas Kleiber is professor and chair in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Georgia at Athens.
* Introduction * The Many Faces of Leisure * Development, Motivation, and Leisure * Changes in Leisure Behavior over the Life Span * Socialization Through Play and Leisure Activity * Leisure Experience and the Formation of Identity * Personal Expressiveness and the Transcendence of Negative Life Events * Self-Renewal and Generativity in Middle Age * Engagement, Disengagment, and Integration in Later Life