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Quality time

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Quality time is an expression referring to how an individual proactively interacts with another while they are together, regardless of the duration.[1]


Sometimes abbreviated QT, it is an informal reference to time spent with close family, partners or friends that is in some way important, special, productive or profitable to one or everyone involved. It is time that is set aside for paying full and undivided attention to the person or matter at hand. It may also refer to time spent performing some favorite activity.

Relationship counselor Gary Chapman suggests that quality time is one of five "languages" which are used (more or less, preferentially, by a given individual) to express love and articulate their feelings and emotions.


Its use as a noun expression ("quality time") began in the 1970s. One of the earliest records of this phrase in print was in the Annapolis newspaper The Capital, January 1973, in the article "How To Be Liberated":

The major goal of each of these role changes is to give a woman time to herself, Ms. Burton explained. "A woman's right and responsibility is to be self fulfilling," she said. She gives "quality time" rather than "quantity time" to each task, whether it be writing, cleaning the house or tending the children.

The Time Bind, a 1997 book,[2] was mentioned in Newsweek's multi-page feature about Quality Time.[1] The same issue of Newsweek had a full-page review[3] of another 1997 book, Time for Life,[4] which emphasizes that most people have a flawed "ability to separate faulty perception of time use from reality."[4] Author Robinson's diary-based research shows that 15 hours per week of "free time" (the greatest category of time used) goes into TV viewing.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Laura Shapiro (May 12, 1997). "The Myth of Quality Time". Newsweek. pp. 62–68.
  2. ^ Russell Hochschild, Arlie (1997). The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work. New York: Metropolitan Books. ISBN 9780805044713. Google Print
  3. ^ a b Marc Peyser (May 12, 1997). "Time Bind? What Time Bind?". Newsweek. p. 69.
  4. ^ a b John Robinson; Geooffrey Godbey (1997). Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0271034263.

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