Ongoing engagement in organized activities may buffer disadvantaged youth against increasing externalizing behaviors

Alexander O’Donnell, Bonnie L. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined whether dropping out of non-sport organized activities predicted increased externalizing behaviors and if youth attending socioeconomically disadvantaged schools were disproportionately affected. Adolescents in grade 8 who engaged in organized activities (n = 418, MT1 = 13.46, SDT1 = 0.31) nominated the activity in which they spent the most time and were categorized as dropping out, swapping into a different activity, or remaining in that activity 1 year later. Multinominal logistic regression indicated that lower socioeconomic status (SES) predicted dropping out of activities compared to both swapping and remaining. Additionally, we found that dropping out of organized activities predicted increases in externalizing behaviors for adolescents who attended schools of lower or moderate SES. Conversely, there were no significant differences among participation statuses for adolescents in higher SES schools. These results provide evidence that socioeconomically disadvantaged youth are both the most likely to drop out and the most likely to benefit from continued participation in organized activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disadvantaged adolescents
  • externalizing behaviors
  • extracurricular activities
  • organized activities
  • risk behaviors
  • socioeconomic status

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