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The Effects of Culture on Conceptualizations of Leisure, Control, and Positive Affect Between Japanese and Canadian Undergraduate Students Open Access


Other title
Experience Sampling Method
Positive Affect
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ito, Eiji
Supervisor and department
Walker, Gordon J. (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Iwasaki, Yoshitaka (Extension)
Masuda, Takahiko (Psychology)
Hinch, Tom (Physical Education and Recreation)
Chick, Garry (Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, The Pennsylvania State University)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The purpose of this dissertation is to examine: (a) similarities and differences in conceptualizations of leisure between Japan and Canada and between two Japanese leisure-like terms: yoka and rejā (Study 1); (b) the effects of leisure participation on Japanese and Canadian undergraduate students’ control and positive affect (Study 2); and (c) self-construal’s moderator effects on leisure experiences (Study 3). Results of Study 1 indicated that: (a) conceptualizations of leisure differed not only between Japan and Canada but also within Japan depending on terminologies; (b) the loanword rejā has different connotative meanings from its original English word, leisure, suggesting that it has adapted to Japanese cultural contexts; and (c) the Japanese leisure-like term that best compares with the English word leisure varies depending on which specific aspect of leisure is of interest. Results of Study 2 indicated that leisure participation significantly: (a) increased Japanese students’ primary control (changing the surrounding activity/event); (b) decreased the acceptance aspect of secondary control (accepting the surrounding activity/event) for Japanese and Asian- and Euro-Canadian students; (c) increased and decreased, respectively, the adjustment aspect of secondary control (adjusting oneself to the surrounding activity/event) for Japanese and Euro-Canadian students; and (d) increased high- and low-arousal positive affect for Japanese and Asian- and Euro-Canadian students, but the positive effects on high-arousal positive affect for Japanese students were significantly larger than those for Euro-Canadian students. Results of Study 3 indicated that the moderator effects of self-construal do not appear to be a key mechanism that explains cultural differences in leisure experiences. In conclusion, this dissertation identified both universality (similarities) and cultural specificity (differences) in conceptualizations of leisure and leisure experiences, and indicated that self-construal is not a panacea to explain why cultural differences in leisure phenomena exist. This dissertation contributes to the advancement of the collective body of knowledge in leisure studies by conducting cross-cultural research between the West (Canada) and the non-West (Japan), by developing a new method (Leisure Ten Statements Test) to examine conceptualizations of leisure, and by providing another piece of evidence that leisure participation is conducive to psychological well-being.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Ito, E., & Walker, G. J. (in press). Similarities and differences in leisure conceptualizations between Japan and Canada and between two Japanese leisure-like terms. Leisure/Loisir. doi: 10.1080/14927713.2014.880613

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