Diversional & Recreation Therapy Australia News

Published Thursday, 3 May 2018

Title: Culturally Meaningful Leisure as a Way of Coping with Stress among Aboriginal Individuais with Diabetes


Author: Yoshitaka Iwasaki and  Judith G Bartlett.


Journal: Journal of Leisure Research, Volume 38, Issue 3.




The purpose of this study was to gain insights into the lived experiences of urban Aboriginal Canadians with diabetes in stress and coping through leisure. A framework of resilience was used to conceptually ground the study and to analytically synthesize findings about the role of leisure in coping with stress. Focus groups were used as the data collection technique, and phenomenology as an analytical approach. Not only were participants' experiences of stress tied to diabetes-related aspects of their lives, but their descriptions also suggested that stress originated from broader structural systems and dynamics at various intertwined leveis—socio-economic, cultural, historical, and political (e.g., racism). On the other hand, the results revealed the use of human strengths and resilience through culturally appropriate forms of leisure (e.g., Native arts, Aboriginal dancing, music, spiritual reading, going to reserves) in coping with stress. The findings emphasized that culture plays a central role in explaining leisure stress-coping mechanisms, whether these are tied to collective strengths, cultural identity, spiritual renewal, or physical/behavioral benefits. Concerning the connection between stress and leisure, culturally-based forms of leisure seemed useful to deal with culturally-bound stressors (e.g., racism), while some evidence was found for the role of leisure (e.g., physical activity) in coping with diabetes-related stressors.


This Journal Watch has been submitted by Emma Preston.