What do adolescents “do” in their spare time? What activities do they engage in when not at school or in employment? Questions such as these are continually of importance since planning and provision of facilities for the pursuit of leisure activities for individuals of all ages are required. Society must make available resources and expertise for leisure time pursuits for adolescents, ranging from sporting activities to discos, from educational programmes to providing places where teenagers can meet and talk away from home.
Firstly however, two brief definitions are needed – one of “interest” and one of “leisure”. Dusek, Kermis and Monge (1979) define interest as “(being) related to, and may be the end result of, attention toenvironmental events that stimulate curiosity which, in turn, leads to the application of already acquired skills” (p.44). Connell, Stroobant, Sinclair, Connell and Rogers (1975) claim that “an interesting person is, basically, an interested person” (p.167), implying that to have a wide education and a wide range of interests enhances one as a person. Clearly therefore, it would be to our (and society's) advantage to make provision for stimulating leisure pursuits and encouraging many different recreational interests in our adolescents. The breadth and depth of action and motivation established before adulthood must then be beneficial to society in the long term.