Links between school-based extracurricular activity participation and adolescent development
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Utilizing the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, three separate studies were conducting regarding the relationship of school-based extracurricular activity participation (EAP) and adolescent development. Chapter 1 examined the profiles of individual activity participants, determined whether profiles changed dependent upon activity grouping style, and identified portfolios of adolescent schoolbased EAP. The most common activities are basketball, baseball, track, and football. Non-participation is also common. Academic club participation is actually not as common. Non-participants are older, come from families with lower incomes, have lower grades, and are from larger schools having implications for educational and social policy in terms of availability of activities in schools and exclusion from participation. Generally, style of activity grouping did little in varying the overall descriptions of participants from each other and from the individual activity analysis. However, subtle details were affected by activity conceptualization and some of the unique patterns indicated in the individual analysis were better preserved by certain groupings. The most common participation portfolios are multiple activity types and sports only participation. The four most common portfolios in the multiple activity type group were sports/performance, sports/academic, sports/academic/performance/school, and sports/school. Chapter 2 utilized individual, family, peer, and school contexts to differentiate school-based EAP and non-participation. Adolescentsí GPA (individual), parental involvement (family), friendís GPA (peer), and school attachment and school size (school) were associated with each type of activity participation over nonparticipation. The individual and peer factors had the strongest links to activity participation in general, and in differentiating the types of participation. The findings lend support to suggestions of the strong role of social norms in adolescent activity participation. Participation was more likely in schools with less than 2/3 percent White students and Asians participated at almost the same rate as Whites. Chapter 3 investigated the influence of adolescent school-based EAP on well-being, delinquency, and substance use over time. Sports and multiple activity type participation were related to alcohol use and delinquency but did not increase the variance explained over background variables. Relationships between EAP and these outcomes over time were moderated by school attachment, school size, and parental involvement.