Adolescents’ self-exploration in leisure experience

Atara Sivan*, Vicky Chiu Wan Tam, Gertrude Po Kwan Siu, Robert A. Stebbins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This phenomenological study examined the ways in which self-exploration manifested in Hong Kong adolescents’ leisure experiences. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 75 secondary school students on the choice of and engagement in their most important and interesting leisure activities. Seven themes emerged from data analysis that formed the essences of the adolescents’ leisure experiences: investment, positive affect, negative affect, obstacles to activity pursuit, recognition of own character, personal gains, and desires. These themes revealed adolescents’ self-exploration, which is an ongoing dynamic exploration process comprising constant appraisal, self-discovery and self-construction embedded in students’ social context and driven by their interests, needs, beliefs, and potentials. The study demonstrated the developmental significance of adolescents’ engagement in activities of personal interest and importance. Through a contextualized investigation on leisure experiences and reflections among Hong Kong teenagers, this study also added to the knowledge of leisure pursuit and meaning-making in non-Western contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-468
Number of pages28
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Issue number4
Early online date18 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Hong Kong
  • leisure experience
  • phenomenology
  • self exploration


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