Adolescent Free time Activity and Its Relationships with Perceptions of Parenting and Intrinsic Motivation

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Isaiah Christopher Lubben (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: The positive youth development framework emphasizes those developmental tasks and milestones that assist youth in the successful transition to adulthood. These developmental affordances thrive in contexts where social-emotional , physical and institutional resources e.g. , family supports , resources , and socializing agents such as school and churches) are present. The current study is guided by Self-Determination Theory , which recognizes the important role that parents play in what youth do in their free time by articulating how youth internalize and value specific free time behaviors through autonomy supportive practices. Autonomy supportive parenting practices are those that allow youth to experience freedom and control in free time. Parenting practices (e.g. , monitoring , involvement) that lack autonomy supportive traits (e.g. , openness , agreeableness) and involvement during free time thwart the internalization process associated with motivation. The relationship between parents and youth is key to guiding youth to structured experiences that aid in development (e.g. , sports , extracurricular activities) , as well as making appropriate choices when faced with the prospect of unstructured free time. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between autonomy support from parents , free time motivation and types of recreation participation. Specifically , this study examined activity profiles of rural youth (N=283) and found that respondents' activity patterns were either after school/sports-based or home-based in their free time. The study compared youth by activity profiles on measures of intrinsic motivation and parent autonomy support. The relationships between intrinsic motivation , age of respondents , and perceptions of autonomy support from parents were also examined. No differences were observed between the after school based and home-based activity profiles with respect to intrinsic motivation or reported levels of parent autonomy support. A relationship between parent autonomy support and free time intrinsic motivation was observed. A negative relationship between age and parent autonomy support was also found , which suggests that parents were perceived to be less autonomy supportive and involved by older children in the sample. The lack of differentiation on motivation and parenting practices between groups were contrary to previous studies , which observed that youth who participate in structured activities reported higher levels of parent autonomy support and intrinsic motivation. Consistent with the literature , there was a relationship between parenting practices and intrinsic motivation in free time. The discussion explores the uniqueness of the rural setting from which the sample was drawn. This setting and the experiences of youth in rural environments support the need to examine community resources and offer experiences to youth when constraints related to distance and family responsibilities prevent access to existing structured experiences. The study also underscores the importance of parent autonomy supportive practices regardless of free time behavioral patterns. Directions for future research are offered given the limitations of cross-sectional research and reliance on data that were collected solely from the adolescent's perspective.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Recreation, Leisure, Self-Determination, Motivation, Youth, Adolescents, Development

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