Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism Management


Randy J. Virden


Creative arts, Fine arts, Leisure constraints, Leisure constraints negotiation, Leisure motivations, Mid-life women

Subject Areas

Recreation and Tourism; Fine Arts; Art Education


This qualitative, exploratory study involving semi-structured interviews of 12 midlife women, ages 45 to 65, sought insight into how intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural constraints, constraint negotiations, and motivations facilitate or impede midlife women's active participation in the creative arts. The data were analyzed within a socio-cultural context using grounded theory. Findings indicate that dynamic interactions involving social comparison result in judgment by others, of others, and of self. This spiraling effect is often initiated in childhood or adolescence. Once a woman internalizes the notion that she "can't sing, can't dance, can"t draw," there is seldom any attempt to negotiate constraints and participate in a particular creative arts activity. In contrast, midlife women who actively participate in the creative arts have generally experienced some personal success and encouragement and are motivated in a variety of ways to negotiate leisure constraints. Social interaction both constrained and facilitated leisure creative arts participation.