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Title: The relationship between leisure and mental wellbeing in middle-aged women who care for more than 20 hours per week : a secondary analysis using data from a national survey
Author: Clarke, Angela
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: Research has found that carers have limited leisure engagement compared with non-carers and they have reduced mental wellbeing. Middle aged women who are intensive carers (>20 hours a week) are at particular risk and were therefore the focus for this study. Objectives: The cross-sectional part of this study aimed to explore whether there was an association between leisure time satisfaction, variety, sporting engagement and frequency of leisure with carer wellbeing. The longitudinal part of this study aimed to explore whether becoming an intensive carer was associated with reduced leisure engagement and reduced wellbeing. Further, whether leisure engagement predicts wellbeing. Method: This study used data from a national UK study (UKLHS) that stratified sampling across the country. Data was collected annually and waves two and five were used for this study as they included a module about leisure and culture. Wellbeing was assessed through the GHQ-12. Secondary analysis of this data included general linear modelling and chi square. Results: Generally, cross sectional hypotheses were supported although frequency of leisure engagement was less relevant for wellbeing than variety and satisfaction (the latter of which explained 12% of the variance). Individuals who did sport had better wellbeing than those who did not. Individuals who became carers did not reduce their leisure engagement more than non-carers. Change in satisfaction and variety predicted change in wellbeing but change in frequency did not. Unexpectedly, individuals who were not carers at wave two, but were at wave five had poorer wellbeing at both time points compared to the non-carers. Conclusions: Leisure is a key contributor to emotional wellbeing, in particular, carer’s satisfaction with the amount of leisure time they have and whether they engage in physical activities. This has important implications for services that work with carers at a local level, and at a policy level.
Supervisor: Morison, Linda ; Gleeson, Kate Sponsor: Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral