A benefit of playfulness is facilitating stress coping, and leisure has been identified as a coping strategy. However, no research has examined whether playfulness facilitates using leisure to cope with stress. The process theory of stress coping shows that using leisure to cope with stress is a process involving not only coping strategies, but also emotional response and comprehensive coping outcomes. However, no study has used the process theory to examine the role of playfulness in the leisure stress-coping process. This study surveyed 195 university students about their psychological stress, playfulness, emotions and quality of life. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data. Results suggest that being more playful leads university students to seek companionship through social leisure and to enhance mood through leisure pursuits but not use leisure to escape from stress. Results also support the process theory of stress coping by showing that personal factors like playfulness as well as emotional response and more comprehensive coping outcomes are important in the coping process.
- Emerging adult
- Leisure coping
- Process theory of stress coping