Serious Leisure as a Strategy to Reduce Loneliness and Social Isolation: A Preventive Response to Elderly Women Abuse

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)


This chapter is based on research with a leisure group—The Wednesday Tea (WT) (operating in Portugal since 2010)—for 43 older women with an average age of 80, who had previously experienced loneliness and social exclusion. Research into the benefits of leisure activity by elderly women is rare, the more so as a response to, and prevention of, situations of violence or abuse. The findings are discussed from the Serious Leisure Perspective (Stebbins 1992); leisure is “serious” when it has goals, implies a systematic performance of a significant and interesting activity for the practitioner, which evolves and progresses according to resources, skills, know-how and experience, taking out of this act a relevant sense of fulfillment and contribute to the reflection regarding the benefits of leisure in promoting safety to older women.



This text integrates a doctoral thesis funded by FCT—the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology with the reference SFRH/BD/132490/2017. The authors of this text are deeply grateful to Hannah Bows for the wise indications throughout this process.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social and Political Sciences, Centre for Administration and Public PoliciesUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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