• Flourishing in the face of mental illness: A heuristic examination of the contribution of leisure to creating a meaningful life

      Cripps Torok, Lauren C.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2014-09-11)
      The purpose of this research was to examine the ways in which individuals with mental illness create a life of purpose, satisfaction and meaning. The data supported the identification of four common themes: (1) the power of leisure in activation, (2) the power of leisure in resiliency, (3) the power of leisure in identity and (4) the power of leisure in reducing struggle. Through an exploration of the experience of having a mental illness, this project supports that leisure provides therapeutic benefits that transcend through negative life events. In addition, this project highlights the individual nature of recovery as a process of self-discovery. Through the creation of a visual model, this project provides a benchmark for how a small group of individuals have experienced living well with mental illness. As such, this work brings new thought to the growing body of mental health and leisure studies literature.
    • Leisure as a Facilitator of Posttraumatic Growth in Individuals Living with Cancer

      Vercillo, Tabitha; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2015-02-04)
      Although there is a growing body of literature that shifts the focus of chronic illness and trauma research to personal growth, there is limited literature on the role that leisure has in this process (e.g., Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004). This qualitative study explored the role of leisure in the phenomenon of posttraumatic growth (PTG) for individuals living with cancer. The findings revealed that leisure influences PTG in four domains: (a) building meaningful relationships, (b) providing experiences to develop and maintain a sense of self, (c) creating opportunities to experience positive emotions, and (d) finding purpose in life. Findings provide insight on how individuals living with cancer perceive the role that leisure has in facilitating positive change after diagnosis. These findings will better enable healthcare and leisure providers to understand the unique needs of individuals living with cancer, and help them to facilitate meaningful leisure programs to encourage PTG.

      Miatello, Ashleigh; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2012-10-11)
      Trauma can have lasting effects on health (CAMH, 2010; DSM-IV, 1994; Lazarus, 1966), negatively influencing meanings and experiences of leisure in relation to health (Griffin, 2002, 2005; Meister & Pedlar, 1996). This interpretive grounded theory explored understandings of leisure during Leisure Connections and how Leisure Connections provides a context for healing from trauma. Data included observations, interviews with six participants, and reflection cards. Nine themes emerged: responding to trauma in leisure, letting go of familiar coping patterns and opening to joy, being in the moment of small steps and simple things, changing understandings of self, reconnecting with the body, shifting to internal motivation, choosing, reconnecting with others in leisure, balancing life with leisure, and growth and connections. Leisure Connections supported participants to explore leisure and its benefits as issues arise, to understand and respond differently. Leisure Connections provides boundary situations critical for existential growth and opportunity to change coping patterns.
    • Youth Living in Residential Care: Implications for Leisure and Identity

      Oswald, Austin; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2013-09-11)
      The purpose of this study was to explore the intersection of living in residential care, leisure engagement, and adolescent identity development. The investigation included the voices of six youth living in a residential care facility in southern Ontario. The data was collected through participant observations, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis. Moustakas’ (1994) modification of the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method was used to analyze the data. The findings determined that living in residential care is rife with dialectical tensions that impact leisure and identity. The youth shared poignant narratives of how living in residential care was a stigmatizing experience that left them feeling restricted and isolated. They also shared their struggles with finding autonomy in a secured facility and managing the violent discourses of their peers. This research contributes to a burgeoning body of literature that explores the experiences of youth living in out-of-home care. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.