Research into the benefits of holidays
Supporting the work that we do…
“The break has made all three of us happier and stronger with new confidence to explore and experience new tasks and situations.”
“I spent quality time rebuilding my relationship with my son, since the abuse we experienced. I had time to gather my thoughts, and now I’m not as stressed and feel more positive about the future.”
The Family Holiday Association was founded on the principle that spending quality time together as a family away from home results in stronger, healthier and happier families and communities.
There is a significant body of academic research that supports the work we do, and we know from our own experience how a simple break from everyday struggles can make all the difference to a family’s future.
Spotlight on Nottingham University
Research into self-efficacy
One of our strategic aims is to champion holidays as a force for good and to undertake research that shows the importance of breaks and days out. We’ve worked in partnership with Nottingham University Business School for many years to help understand the difference that breaks make.
Over the years we’ve had research published on the impact of breaks on social well-being and the difference that breaks make on things like looking for work or taking up studying.
We were delighted to receive funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a joint PhD that started in October. Over the next 3 years, Tahira Kosar, will be designing and conducting a study with families that the charity supports, looking at how breaks impact self-efficacy – which is someone’s belief in their own ability to do things.
In the past, research has been conducted on how a break can make a difference to self-esteem, quality of life and subjective wellbeing, and to changes in behaviours which could cause wider societal benefits. However, there hasn’t been any research into how the benefits of a break can then contribute to a change in attitudes and behaviours such as self-efficacy.
The research will have a direct impact on families, with the findings ultimately helping families in awful circumstances to become more resilient and better able to cope with their financial, mental and physical health, as well as the circumstances they’re in.
We regularly hear feedback from families and referrers that suggest our breaks have a big impact on confidence with parents and families much more likely to do things on their own after the break and we are looking forward to investigating this in more detail. This will help us better understand the difference we make and champion holidays as a force for good.
The charity has previously worked with Scott McCabe of Nottingham University Business School to commission other research into the benefits of breaks. Some of the topics previously covered have been Scott’s 2015 research on the life-long benefit of a break, studying the wide range of lasting social, emotional and psychological benefits that taking a break as a family can bring.
Also in 2015, Scott’s research, conducted by Konstantinos Kakoudakis on the links between a break and improvements in attitudes towards unemployment and job search behaviours was published.
In 2013, Scott’s research with Sarah Johnson was published on how we understand the links between holiday’s and improvements in subjective wellbeing and is now one of Scott’s highest cited articles across the academic community in tourism research.
Also in 2013, the First Laurance Paper was commissioned with Scott, for a study investigating current trends in Europe and elsewhere. It analysed how social tourism already works in practice, with a comparative analysis of the EU countries.
If you’d like to find out more about the research into the benefits of a break, please visit the Research section of our website.