Negative life events, such as the unexpected loss of a loved one, a disabling accident or a natural disaster, are inevitably distressing and disruptive. Coping with and recovering from such events generally requires a variety of personal and social resources. Previous research on leisure and coping has suggested that leisure orientations and relationships can be important in reducing the likelihood that stress becomes debilitating in some way. But the results of that work are equivocal and generally do not distinguish leisure resources that make events less stressful from those that are employed in coping with stressful events after they occur. This analysis examines the leisure-coping literature as well as recent work on the dynamics of coping and the impact of pleasant events and concludes in identifying four distinguishable functions of leisure that relate to self- protection, self-restoration, and personal transformation.
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