Leisure and adults with learning difficulties
: a conceptual analysis and empirical investigation

  • Frances Baty

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The Introduction defines leisure, discusses its significance for people with learning difficulties and reviews the existing literature, noting omissions and deficiencies.

    Part One of the empirical section describes the development and evaluation of a structured interview schedule for the assessment of the regular and wider leisure activities of people with learning difficulties.

    Part Two comprises four sections. Section I uses the schedule to identify factors which might influence leisure: place of residence, i.e. hospital, hostel and family (Studies One and Two) ; adaptive and maladaptive behaviour, symptoms and personality (Study Three)? age, gender and intelligence (Study Four); and having learning difficulties (Study Five). No factor is found to have a major influence upon how individuals spent their leisure time.

    Section II surveys the leisure activities of people with learning difficulties, finding that most take place in segregated settings and are organised by staff or families.

    Section III establishes standards for evaluating the leisure of people with learning difficulties, based on the recommendations of professional staff (Study One) and the actual leisure activities of people without learning difficulties (Study Two). These two possible sets of standards are compared with one another (Study Three) and with the results of the survey reported in Section II of the leisure of people with learning difficulties (Study Four). While many similarities are identified between the leisure of people with and without learning difficulties, many differences exist? in particular, the former spend less time with friends and family and make less use of community facilities.

    Section IV is a methodological review of the empirical studies.

    Part Three comprises a conceptual analysis of approaches to, and techniques for, developing and maintaining leisure skills and activities.

    The work concludes with: a summary of other research relevant to leisure which has recently been carried out in Tayside - into the teaching of community skills, the knowledge and use of concepts of time and the development of a data base of facilities; a set of recommendations for a service intended to develop the leisure activities of people with learning difficulties? and suggestions for future research.
    Date of AwardOct 1991
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Council for National Academic Awards

    Cite this