Online Program

Impact of perceived benefits of leisure travel on overall life satisfaction of people with mobility impairment

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Shu Cole, Ph.D., School of Public Health - Bloomington, Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Ye Zhang, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Recreation, Park, & Tourism Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Cheng-ming Hu, Ph.D. candidate, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Wei Wang, Ph.D., Department of Economic Development and Tourism, University of Southern Mississippi, Long Beach, MS
Leisure travel is a prominent phenomenon in modern day society. Although people with mobility impairments are likely to encounter barriers while traveling, research shows they have the same motivation for leisure travel as people without disabilities. However, no known research has provided empirical evidence regarding the outcomes of leisure travel for people with mobility impairment. This study examined empirically the impact of leisure travel’s benefits experienced by people with mobility impairment on their overall life satisfaction.

A total of 288 usable surveys were collected online from subscribers with mobility impairments to a mobility magazine. Three fourths of the respondents had traveled overnight for leisure purposes in the past 12 months. Life satisfaction was significantly correlated with the number of leisure trips taken last year, while not significantly correlated with years living with the disability, state of health and capability of conducting daily activities. Respondents reported “a better mood” after a leisure trip as the biggest benefit, followed by “more relaxed,” “mentally fitter,” “more recuperated,” “can concentrate more,” and “less depressed.”

Regression analyses and Sobel tests show the feeling of less depressed after a leisure trip enhanced life satisfaction through “social and emotional support” respondents received in life, their “overall activity level” and the “level of tension/stress” they experienced. In total, the feeling of less depressed along with the three mediators explained 35.8% of the variance in life satisfaction. More research is needed to understand the role of leisure travel in reducing depression.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the impact of leisure travel's benefits on life satisfaction of people with mobility impairment

Keyword(s): Disabilities, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an associate professor and my research expertise is in the area of travel services marketing and travel experience management. My current research focus is on the travel experience of people with mobility impairments.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.