I just gotta have my own place: The bedroom as a leisure site for adolescent girls

Document Type

Journal Article


Sagamore Publishing


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




Originally published as: James, K. (2001). "I just gotta have my own space!": The bedroom as a leisure site for adolescent girls. Journal of leisure research, 33(1), 71. Original article available here


This paper explores the importance of the bedroom as a leisure site for adolescent girls. It builds on an earlier study in which girls rated their bedrooms as the recreational space where they felt least self conscious and most chose to be (James, 1998). The intensely positive way in which most girls described their bedrooms triggered the in-depth follow-up study reported here. Interviews with girls, aged 15–16 years, found their choice of public or private recreational space, at a particular time, was related to whether they desired activities that were shared or solitary, active or passive. One of the factors affecting these choices appeared to be girls' “situational body image,” defined as a modification of their overall body image in relation to a particular audience and place, and the perceived potential for ridicule in that situation. Others were physical factors, such as a need for security and desire for exercise, and control factors, such as a need to control their own space. Whether girls have real or forced choices is questioned. Factors that render many girls invisible from active recreational spaces in our community could affect their physical health and wellbeing, and even their leisure choices in later life.




Link to publisher version (DOI)