Psychological Benefits of the “Maker” or Do-It-Yourself Movement in Young Adults: A Pathway Towards Subjective Well-Being

Ann Futterman Collier, Heidi A. Wayment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Over the past several decades, increasing numbers of people have become involved in the do-it-yourself (DIY) or “Maker” movement, i.e., creating a wide range of products from home improvement to self-service to crafts. Little is known about the psychological benefits of these actions; there is an assumption that involvement ultimately increases quality of life. We surveyed 465 college students to describe their participation in a variety of Maker undertakings ranging from domestic arts, arts and crafts, to DIY activities, and examined four potential mediators of the relationship between a Maker identity and SWB. We inquired about the time spent engaged in the activities, reasons for involvement, as well as the immediate and long-term benefits received from Making. We found that college students spent approximately 3 h a week involved in Maker activities and that they most often engaged in domestic arts (e.g., cooking, baking, and gardening). The most important reasons provided for involvement in Maker activities were mood-repair, socializing with friends, and the ability to “stay present-focused.” Having a Maker identity was associated with subjective well-being (SWB), primarily explained by high arousal (i.e., exciting or stimulating) during Maker activities, but not positive mood. Trait rumination and reduced self-focus, or quiet ego, were also related to SWB and suggest the importance of reduced self-focus in understanding the relationship between Making and SWB. Taken together, it appears that Maker identity may be a potential pathway towards SWB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1217-1239
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Do-it-yourself movement
  • High arousal mood
  • Maker identity
  • Positive affect
  • Quiet ego
  • Rumination
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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