Leisure-time activities of middle-aged adults in rural areas
Rose, E.; Arrington, J.A.
Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) Reports Bulletin 380
This study was made of the leisure-time activities of 210 selected rural households living in six widely separated Alabama counties. Husbands in each family were between 45-64 years of age and the couple had been married for at least one year prior to the time of the survey. The study population consisted of 150 rural farm and 60 rural nonfarm families. Approximately 75 per cent of the sample was white and 25 per cent Negro. The average household consisted of three to four members with a mean cash income of $3,541 and an average per capita income of $1,168. Only a slight difference in the mean education of husbands and wives was noted. Twenty-six respondents reported having had college training, all of whom were rural farm residents. It was found that rural Alabama families had few leisure-time activities in which they participated. The range and types of activities reported by the respondents were extremely limited. The results showed that younger men and older women were the ones reporting the most activities. No difference was found in the number of leisure-time activities in which husbands and wives participated. Results revealed that participation in all such activities increased with rises in level of educational attainment and family income. On the basis of residence, it was found that a somewhat larger percentage of rural farm families participated in leisure-time pursuits than did the rural nonfarm. According to these data, few of the middle-aged rural couples studied had made plans for the use of their leisure hours after retirement. The majority of families with present leisure-time activities reported their intentions to continuing participation in current pastimes and organizations after age 65. However the largest proportion of the sample families had made practically no economic provisions to insure future participation. Travel was included in future plans by a sizeable percentage of the respondents but only a fraction of them had made any financial provisions for it. This study indicated that there was a definite lack of creative leisure-time activities among the 210 Alabama families studied. This deficiency appeared to be related to education and income with age and residence having a lesser effect. Income appeared to be the most important factor in determining leisure-time activities.