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Knit One, Play One: Comparing the Effects of Amateur Knitting and Amateur Music Participation on Happiness and Wellbeing

Lamont

Knit One, Play One: Comparing the Effects of Amateur Knitting and Amateur Music Participation on Happiness and Wellbeing Thumbnail


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Abstract

Previous research suggests that engaging in creative and meaningful leisure activities enhances mental health, wellbeing and quality of life. However, studies often explore specific creative activities in isolation. We compared happiness and wellbeing in adults involved in knitting (835 amateur knitters) and musical activities (122 amateur musicians). Participants completed the Subjective Happiness Scale, the BBC Subjective Wellbeing scale, and open-ended questions about past and current engagement. Knitters scored significantly higher on happiness than musicians. No differences were found for subjective wellbeing. Older participants scored more highly on all wellbeing measures, with no effect of time doing the activity. Open-ended responses were grouped into four themes. Learning and teaching was oriented towards communities of practice for knitters and formal teaching for musicians. Process involved positive and negative emotions, grouped around subthemes of self-care and sensory experiences. Outcome was associated with connections to others, expressed through pride or anxiety. Purpose linked to a sense of fulfilment, identity, and obsession. Despite differences between the activities, participants experienced broadly similar physical, psychological and social benefits. Further research should explore more creative and non-creative leisure activities to establish if these effects can be generalised and what other unique features may be involved.

Citation

Lamont. (2020). Knit One, Play One: Comparing the Effects of Amateur Knitting and Amateur Music Participation on Happiness and Wellbeing. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1303-1322. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09734-z

Acceptance Date May 20, 2019
Publication Date Nov 1, 2020
Journal Applied Research in Quality of Life
Print ISSN 1871-2584
Publisher Springer Verlag
Pages 1303-1322
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09734-z
Keywords Music making, Knitting, Wellbeing, Happiness, Eudaimonia, PERMA
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09734-z

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