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    Stress, resilience and leisure coping among university students: applying the broaden-and-build theory

    Denovan, AM and Macaskill, A (2017) Stress, resilience and leisure coping among university students: applying the broaden-and-build theory. Leisure Studies, 36 (6). pp. 852-865. ISSN 1466-4496

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    Evidence suggests that leisure coping is affiliated with resilience, and that both predict stress-coping and wellbeing. However, a theoretical explanation of how resilience is associated with the stress-reducing properties of leisure coping is lacking. Using the broaden-and-build theory, a model was developed proposing that resilient individuals proactively use leisure coping to cultivate positive emotions and in turn enhance wellbeing. Leisure coping and positive affect were suggested to mediate the relationship between resilience and wellbeing outcomes (stress and flourishing). The model was tested among 202 UK undergraduates, a population reported to experience high stress. Structural equation modelling revealed that resilience had a significant positive effect on flourishing. Leisure coping beliefs demonstrated a positive relationship with resilience, positive affect, and flourishing. Positive affect mediated the relationship between resilience and flourishing, and between resilience and stress. Leisure coping strategies did not meaningfully contribute to the model. Leisure beliefs may have emerged as more important than leisure strategies because leisure beliefs are relatively stable with more enduring effects on health and wellbeing, while leisure strategies are transient and situation-based. Future research should examine the relationships longitudinally to explore developmental change. Implications of the findings for undergraduates are discussed.

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