Playfulness increases positive emotions (PEs) and enhances psychological well-being. However, no studies have examined whether playfulness serves as a stress–coping resource, nor assessed both positive and negative emotions (NEs) as coping outcomes. The current study used the Process Model of Stress and Coping to examine whether playfulness helps university students cope with psychological stress. Both PE and NE were examined as immediate coping outcomes, assessing life satisfaction as a more comprehensive outcome. Using structural equation modeling to analyze the data, we found that heightened playfulness was associated with more PE, which led to greater life satisfaction. Heightened playfulness was also related to less NE, partially offsetting the adverse effects of stress. The results contribute to the leisure literature by showing the value of playfulness as a coping resource, the applicability of the Process Model of Stress and Coping, and the importance of examining both emotional and more comprehensive coping outcomes.
- life satisfaction
- positive and negative emotions
- process model
- stress coping