Introduction to the Special Issue


  • Laura Payne
  • Ramon Zabriskie


With the rapid changes in demographics (e.g., ethnicity), education (e.g., distance education, lifelong learning), and technological advances (e.g., Internet, social media) to name a few, the phrase “change is the status quo” has shifted from being novel to touching peoples’ everyday lives. Looking back 50 to 75 years, it is easy to see that people in the new millennium manage change, whether it is a change in career, relationships, health status, living situation, or something else, more frequently than those in the 1950s, which was known by many as the decade of conformity (Bond & Smith, 1996). 

Change often involves transitions that can be either disruptive or transformative and affect many aspects of peoples’ lives, including work, school, family and leisure. This special issue of JPRA highlights an array of transitions brought on by aging, health, acculturation, retirement, informal caregiving, and emerging adulthood. For example, authors in this special issue have contributed to our knowledge of these transitions by delving into how older adults and people recovering from a major health event manage changes in their activity goals and quality of life. Moreover, the authors connect research with practice by discussing needs and preferences for programming/services, design and delivery of programs/services, and offer professional practice implications at the individual and organization levels. For example, Bedini and Gladwell suggest a variety of strategies for increasing leisure opportunities and decreasing constraints among family caregivers who cease their leisure engagement due to the all-consuming responsibilities of their duties. Also, Kleiber and Linde make a strong case for integrating leisure education into retirement preparation programs and suggest strategies for designing such a program where leisure activity planning is a core component. 

Author Biography

Laura Payne

Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois.