An Exploratory Analysis of Leisure and Life Satisfaction of Aging Adults with Mental Retardation


  • Barbara Hawkins


Aging, Mental Retardation, Leisure Activity, Life Satisfaction


An exploratory analysis of leisure and life satisfaction in a sample of aging adults with mental retardation was conducted. The life satisfaction measure assessed satisfaction with friends and free time, services, and the community, as well as concerns over retirement and work, death and dying, growing older, finances, and health. The leisure measures included self-reported activity participation, preferences for increased involvement, interests in new activity participation, and constraints on leisure. Results of analyses indicated significant negative effects for age on perceived life satisfaction and leisure activity involvement.. Age did not influence perceptions ofleisure preference or interest. However, etiology of mental retardation (Down syndrome vs. non-Down syndrome) was found to influence stated preferences to increase activity involvement and interests in initiating participation in leisure. The findings suggest that leisure activity patterns may decline with age and, when combined with increased interest in initiating activity, explain a significant portion of the variance in life satisfaction for aging adults with mental retardation not caused by Down syndrome.



Research Papers