"I did not have time to play growing up...So this is my play time. It's the best thing I have ever done for myself": What is play to older women?

Careen Mackay Yarnal, Garry Chick, Deborah Lee Kerstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about play in older women's leisure lives. An examination of The Red Hat Society®, a leisure-based social group, expanded an understanding of play by including older women's viewpoints. Because of the absence of literature about emotion and friendship in both play theory and evolutionary theory, our research questions included: how do older women define play, and what are the outcomes of older women's play? Three themes about women's play emerged from data analysis (a) a context for fun, laughter, and feeling good, (b) the chance to be silly and goofy, and (c) positive public reaction to play. Results are discussed by extending current conceptualizations of play theory and evolutionary theory and the roles of play in older women's leisure lives and their health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-252
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Sciences
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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