Determinants of active leisure for women with young children - An "ethic of care" prevails

Yvette D. Miller*, Wendy J. Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

215 Citations (Scopus)


Women are significantly less likely than men to participate in physically active leisure. Women with children are less likely to participate in active leisure compared with women who do not have children. Social pressure to fulfil the role of being a good mother has been suggested in discussions regarding constraints to physical activity as has the use of leisure engagement as a means of challenging social expectations and structured gender relations. This study explored determinants of active leisure participation through in-depth interviews with 12 heterosexual mothers of young children who were purposively sampled with contrasting levels of partner support, physical activity, and socioeconomic status. The findings suggested that household norms relating to gender-based time negotiation and ideologies regarding an ethic of care were important determinants of active leisure among women with young children. A better understanding of these issues could be important in the development of strategies for promoting greater participation in physical activity among women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-420
Number of pages16
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


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