Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Educational Psychology and Methodology

Content Description

1 online resource (ix, 108 pages) : PDF file, illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Joan Newman

Committee Members

Robert F McMorris, David Y Dai


Anxiety, Autonomy, Cross-cultural differences, Enjoyment, Gender socialization, Weekend activity, Play assessment (Child psychology), Play, Leisure, School-age child care, Parent and child

Subject Categories

Developmental Psychology | Educational Psychology | Elementary Education


Out-of-school time constitutes a major context of social and emotional development for children across cultures. Because it is not constrained by school attendance, weekend time allows cultural and gender differences in time usage to emerge. In this study, children's weekend activities, choice, and some of the related emotional outcomes were examined for fourth-grade students in four countries. A total of 1,265 children of families from middle socioeconomic status in Bulgaria, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United States completed an activity survey asking them to state their typical activity for each of 12 hours on Saturday, their enjoyment of the activity, and whether it was self- or adult-chosen. They also completed the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale. Findings indicated that children across the four countries spent most of their weekend time in self-chosen unstructured activities. There was a great deal of variation across countries in the amount and choice of time spent in different activity types. Children's enjoyment was negatively related to the amount of adult-chosen activities, and this relationship varied little across countries. The general anxiety level of children was slightly related to amount of adult-chosen activities without any country or gender differences. Results suggest that cultures differ in the available and socially acceptable types of weekend activities as demonstrated by the time spent by children in different activities and extent of parental involvement in children's activity decisions. Culturally different socialization processes associated with activity choice and participation help shape children's emotional experiences. Weekend time provides important developmental niches within which children in different countries experience activities that contribute to their personal and social developmental outcomes.