Psychosocial Identity Development and Perception of Free Time among College-Attending Emerging Adults


Emerging adults who attend residential colleges experience large amounts of unsupervised and unstructured free time while continuing to develop identities surrounding life, work, and worldviews. These individuals, who are in various stages of psychosocial identity development, may have unique views of free time, including differing perceptions of leisure opportunities, boredom experienced, preferred levels of challenge or effort, and distress or uncertainty regarding leisure opportunities during free time. Using a person-centered approach, this study compares 565 emerging adults from five identity clusters to understand the connections between perception of free time and identity development. Significant differences in the perception of free time awareness, boredom, and challenge were found across identity clusters, signaling that individuals at stages of identity development have unique attitudes toward the nature of free time. Those working with college-attending emerging adults in recreation, student affairs, and counseling settings should consider identity development when addressing free time perceptions.


Recreation Management and Policy

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Leisure Sciences


Taylor & Francis

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