Transitional Consumption of Leisure Activities: An Exploratory Study of the Transition into Empty Nest Motherhood

Clara Louise Krøigaard & Natascha Svanholm Kloster

Student thesis: Master thesis


Human beings experience many transitions throughout life that alter the way of living and during which consumption may play a significant role. The aim of this thesis is to explore the role of leisure activities during women’s transition into empty nest motherhood. Specifically, we investigate the transition’s impact on mothers’ leisure engagement as well as how mothers may cope with the transition through consumption of leisure activities. An exploratory study is conducted based on 13 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with empty nest mothers living in Denmark. Data is analysed with thematic analysis, resulting in the identification of eight overarching themes. The thesis finds the experience of entering empty nest motherhood to be highly individual, yet that most respondents associate it with mixed feelings. All respondents are found to perceive it as an important rolechange, leading to a need for identity re-negotiation. We find the transition to have great impact on the mothers’ consumption of leisure activities, seen from the fact that they start engagement in both familiar and new leisure activities during the transition. Moreover, we find that leisure activities help the mothers cope both by providing a purpose as well as by symbolically aiding their identity re-negotiation during the different phases of the transition. This we visualise in a process model. Insights of the thesis provide an in-depth understanding of the role leisure activities play during women’s transition into empty nest motherhood. Besides extending knowledge within the field of transitional consumption as well as research on leisure activities, our findings provide actionable insights for companies to exploit. Specifically, we provide insights on how providers of leisure activities can optimise their offerings to suit the empty nest mothers’ needs as well as recommendations on when, what and where to communicate to the segment of empty nest mothers. Finally, our findings are relevant for various societal stakeholders, as they, by utilising the knowledge of this thesis, become able to help the Danish empty nest mothers during their transition, and thereby also provide financial gains for society at large

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages214