Do high levels of extracurricular activities help or hinder child development? (2010)

This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) to examine rates of extracurricular participation for Canadian children and youth aged six to 17 years.

The authors found that 86 percent of children and youth participated in at least one extracurricular activity. Overall, participation seemed to benefit children and youth’s development, particularly in the area of pro-social behaviour.

For youth aged 10 to 13, the relationship between standardized math test scores and extracurricular activities suggested that increased activity is related to positive math outcomes only to a certain point. However, math test scores for the highest participating group were not significantly different than math test scores for youth who did not participate in any activities.

For youth aged 14 to 17, participation in out-of-school activities was associated with more positive outcomes and fewer negative outcomes than in-school extracurricular activity, over and above the effect of socioeconomic status. Positive outcomes included better self-image and higher test scores, while negative outcomes included trying alcohol or marijuana.

The analysis also showed that girls were more likely than boys to participate in non-sport lessons and clubs or community groups; young children who lived in an urban area and who lived with two parents were more likely to participate in extracurricular activities; participation in activities increased with family income for younger children aged six to 13, but not for youth aged 14 to 17; and children of all ages from the Western provinces had high participation rates in all activities, whereas young children from the Eastern provinces had higher rates of participation in clubs or community groups.

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2013-03-06
APA citation
Leanne C. Findlay, Dafna E. Kohen and Anne Guèvremont. Do high levels of extracurricular activities help or hinder child development? 2010. Web. 20 Sep. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/do_high_levels_extracurricular/do_high_levels_extracurricular.pdf>
Leanne C. Findlay, Dafna E. Kohen & Anne Guèvremont (2010). Do high levels of extracurricular activities help or hinder child development?. Retrieved September 20, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/do_high_levels_extracurricular/do_high_levels_extracurricular.pdf
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