Sport and Happiness: A Multi-Level Analysis of Sport Consumer's Subjective Well-Being and Need Fulfillment
Kim, Jeeyoon (author)
James, Jeffrey D. (Jeffrey Dalton) (professor directing dissertation)
Ferris, Gerald R. (university representative)
Paek, Insu (committee member)
Kim, Amy Chan Hyung (committee member)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
College of Education (degree granting college)
Department of Sport Management (degree granting department)
How do sport consumption activities (i.e., sport participation, sport spectating, and sport media viewing) affect the subjective well-being (or happiness) of sport consumers? To fulfill the ethical creed of sport marketers and to effectively utilize ‘well-being’ as a marketing strategy, it is imperative to know whether and how sport consumption influences one’s psychological state. Learning the existence and degree of sport consumption’s influence on happiness is essential in laying the fundamental basis of sport consumer well-being research. Research on the mechanism of achieving happiness through sport consumption can be informative for sport marketers in deriving strategies to enhance the consumer’s benefits. However, the fundamental questions about sport consumer’s subjective well-being are not yet fully answered, calling for further research particularly in the sport spectating and sport media consumption contexts. A research project was conducted based on the revised model of hedonic treadmill, activity theory, and need theory: (1) to investigate the influences of sport participation, sport spectating, and sport media viewing activities on one’s baseline and momentary fluctuation of subjective well-being, and (2) to examine ‘need fulfillment’ (i.e., fulfilling one’s needs for detachment-recovery, autonomy, achievement, and belonging) as the psychological process linking sport consumption activities to increased happiness. A repetitive self-report based research project was completed to examine subjective well-being state and need fulfillment experiences in the three sport consumption contexts, and the link between need fulfillment and subjective well-being. Two pilot studies were conducted to construct scales for measuring subjective well-being and need fulfillment and to pre-test the data collection plan of the main study. The main study was conducted to test the relations among sport consumption activities, subjective well-being and need fulfillment. Data was collected based on ecological momentary assessment—that is, repetitive data collection took place on a panel of respondents via mobile phones during their daily lives, 2-3 times per week, over 9 weeks to capture perceptions of subjective well-being state and need fulfillment experience in relation to the type of activity engaged at the time of signal. A total of 2,746 responses were collected from 242 respondents. Multi-level structural equation modeling was conducted for the data analysis, with responses at level-1 and respondents at level-2. Sport participation and sport spectating activities had positive influences on baseline and momentary fluctuation of subjective well-being, and was effective for detachment-recovery, autonomy, achievement, and belonging needs fulfillment. Both positive and negative influences of sport media viewing on subjective well-being state and baseline were found; detachment-recovery, autonomy, and belonging needs were fulfilled in the activity, while achievement need was not. Among the four types of fulfillment, autonomy and achievement needs fulfillment were identified as the most influential on subjective well-being state. Compared to non-sport activities (e.g., work, study, socializing, exercising), sport participation and sport spectating had positive, stronger and more comprehensive needs fulfillment and thus well-being effects; the effects of sport media viewing were positive (or less negative), stronger and more diverse than that of non-sport media viewing. Based on the findings, sport participation and sport spectating are identified as activities beneficial for contributing to short- and long-term well-being, while the valence of well-being effects in sport media viewing is ambiguous. The notion of short-term well-being effects being accumulated and developing into long-term well-being effects through repetitive exposure aligned with the findings in the study, but a more rigorous study examining the causal relations is required. Detachment-recovery, autonomy, achievement, and belonging needs fulfillment are highlighted as key constructs explaining the well-being effects associated with sport consumption. Particular attention on achievement need fulfillment is warranted, for being an influential construct on one’s subjective well-being state that may cause positive as well as negative well-being effects in the sport media viewing context. Examining the moderating effects of psychological connection between sport consumers and one’s favored sport team is proposed, for better understanding achievement need fulfillment through vicarious experiences of sport spectating and sport media viewing. Practical implications are presented for effective fulfillment of the four psychological needs through sport consumption activities, and thus for better improved well-being. Limitations of this study and directions for future research are suggested.
Ecological Momentary Assessment, Happiness, Multi-level Structural Equation Modeling, Need Fulfillment, Sport Consumer Well-being, Subjective Well-being
June 13, 2016.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sport Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jeffrey D. James, Professor Directing Dissertation; Gerald R. Ferris, University Representative; Insu Paek, Committee Member; Amy Chan Hyung Kim, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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