The role of leisure engagement and satisfaction in the relationship between job stress and subjective well-being in New Zealand workers : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The job demands-resources (JD-R) model argues that job stress is the result of an imbalance between demands and resources, and can negatively impact subjective well-being (SWB). Engagement in leisure activity provides a context for building resources through meeting key psychological needs, and fulfilment of these needs is reflected in satisfaction with leisure. Therefore, the ability to cope with and recover from job stress is believed to be affected by engaging in enjoyable and need-fulfilling leisure activity. The present study investigates the relationship between three measures of leisure engagement (variety, frequency, quantity), leisure satisfaction and SWB; and whether the relationship between job stress and SWB is mediated by leisure engagement and leisure satisfaction. Workers (n = 187) currently employed in New Zealand (NZ) were recruited through Facebook to complete an online survey. Results revealed that leisure variety and leisure frequency were positively related to SWB, but leisure quantity was not. Leisure satisfaction was positively associated with SWB, and job stress was negatively associated with SWB. The relationship between job stress and SWB was partially mediated by leisure frequency and satisfaction. Overall, the findings suggested that frequent engagement in satisfying leisure activities may be beneficial to counteract job stress and benefit employee SWB. The findings and limitations are discussed, as well as the implications for NZ organisations and workers.