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TitleThe relationship between leisure boredom and substance use amongst high school students in Cape Town
AuthorWegner, Lisa
SubjectOccupational Therapy
TypeMSc (Med)
AbstractThe purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between leisure boredom and substance use in adolescents attending high school in Cape Town. The degree of leisure boredom experienced by adolescents was investigated, as well as the extent to which boredom is associated with alcohol use, cigarette smoking and cannabis use, gender, grade and race. A stratified sample of 39 high schools in and around Cape Town was selected, using the postal distribution areas as stratification criteria. Students were then randomly selected from two Grade 8 and two Grade 11 classes at these schools, producing a sample of 621 adolescents. Data were gathered using two instruments: the Leisure Boredom Scale which is a self-report scale consisting of 16 items, with demonstrated reliability and validity (Iso-Ahola and Weissinger, 1990); and a questionnaire which was used to obtain demographic data and substance use data (Flisher et al. 1993). These were self-report questionnaires, available in English, Xhosa and Afrikaans, and were completed by students during two consecutive school periods. Administrations took place during the second and third school quarters of 1997. The results of the study showed that leisure boredom was significantly associated with gender (p = 0.003), race (p = 0.000) and alcohol use (p = 0.031). Further analysis showed no significant association between leisure boredom and substance use when controlling for demographic variables. Female adolescents, younger adolescents and black adolescents experienced the highest degree of leisure boredom and may be at risk of using substances as an exciting way of alleviating boredom. Recommendations are that leisure education programmes should be incorporated into lifeskills programmes at high schools, as part of a "lifestyles approach" (Flisher et al. 1996) to dealing with substance use in adolescents. Leisure education programmes should enable adolescents to explore different leisure activities, structure their leisure time constructively, and to become aware of the value of leisure in personal development. Occupational therapists, as part of their role in health promotion, should form partnerships with teachers and parents in order to implement these programmes effectively. Finally, adequate leisure resources for adolescents should be developed, particularly within the more disadvantaged communities in Cape Town.
PublisherUniversity of Cape Town
PublisherFaculty of Health Sciences
PublisherDivision of Occupational Therapy