Structural Determinants of Boredom Among the Clients of Psychosocial and Vocational Rehabilitation Centers


P. Bracke, Department of Sociology, Ghent University, Korte Meer 3-5, 9000 GHENT, Belgium. E-mail:, tel +32 9 264 68 03, fax +32 9 264 69 75.


In psychosocial rehabilitation programs, clients are encouraged to counter boredom by occupying their time in more structured, meaningful, and enjoyable ways. Several means by which the structure of service organizations reduces feelings of boredom were explored. Hypotheses were tested using data from a sample of clients of Flemish rehabilitation centers for people with chronic mental health problems. Results show that in larger, more heterogeneous centers, boredom is reduced by offering clients a wider range of more routinized activities; in small homogeneous centers, the same effect is obtained by enhancing the intrinsic value of the tasks and by providing more opportunities for task communication. Rehabilitation centers seem to adapt their rehabilitation technology according to their organizational structure.