A study of leisure time and recreational interests of 982 fifteen and sixteen year old Reagan (Houston, Texas) Senior High School students
Perkins, Dale H.
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There were two main purposes for this study: (1) to discover as accurately as possible how fifteen and sixteen year old boys and girls of the Reagan (Houston, Texas) Senior High School make use of their leisure time; and (2) to discover trends In leisure usage for the purpose of making practical and specific recommendations to the home, the school, the community and to the city government. The questionnaire technique was used to contact 569 boys and 413 girls, a total of 982 fifteen and sixteen year old youth. Information received on the questionnaire was spot checked through the use of the personal Interview with students and with telephonic Interviews with parents. Evidence points to the fact that boys and girls of fifteen and sixteen years of age are In an exploratory, a trying out, a searching period for permanent Interests In their leisure time tastes and recreational activities. The paucity of hobby Interests and the low Intensity of engagement In hobbles on the part of fifteen and sixteen year old youth is alarming. Few hobby activities now engaged In voluntarily on the part of youth are capable of being carried forward gracefully into adult life. Excessive financial coat and parental refusal are two factors that sharply limit youthâ€™s participation in leisure time activities of their first choice. There is a strong direct relationship between leisure and recreational facilities, equipment available, and youthâ€™s engagement in activities during leisure moments. The acquisition of high order skill in games is a strong self-motivating factor toward continued participation. One marked trend in leisure time usage on the part of youth is toward viewing rather than participating, sedentary activity rather than active engagement in sports. Another trend noted by this study is youth's growing interest in such semi-gambling activities as the playing of marble machines. Interpretations of the data secured in this study served as a basis for certain recommendations for the improvement of leisure time programs for youth. Among the more important of these recommendations were: 1. The necessity for surveys of communities to determine youthâ€™s needs. Interests and recreational desires as a first and basic step toward the construction of efficient recreational programs for boys and girls. 2. There is a need for community planning boards. These boards should consist of representatives from the youth-service agencies and organizations In the community* They should function to correlate services offered youth to prevent duplication and overlapping of efforts. 3. Since the cost of an adequate program for youthâ€™s leisure hours Is beyond the financial ability of many communities, an organized effort should be made to secure federal monetary assistance for recreational programs. 4. The schoolâ€™s curriculum should Include more material designed to bring youth into contact with a wide variety of leisure time and recreational experiences.