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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: Do Extracurricular Activities Contribute to Positive Adolescent Development? Longitudinal Evidence From Australia
Authors: O'Flaherty, Martin 
Baxter, Janeen 
Campbell, Alice 
Publication Date: 23-Mar-2022
Keywords: Extracurricular activities
adolescent wellbeing
academic achievement
Fixed-effects regression
Abstract: Extracurricular activity participation is associated with positive academic, health, and behavioural outcomes for adolescents, but these findings may reflect unobserved confounding rather than participation effects. To address this, we modelled the effects of participation in three kinds of extracurricular activity (team sport, individual sport, and arts) on an array of developmental outcomes using fixed-effects regression to account for potential unobserved confounding. Data were drawn from 3,885 adolescents aged 12-15 in a nationally representative cohort of Australian children. Strong bivariate relationships between all forms of activity participation and positive adolescent development were found. These associations were much smaller in the fixed-effects analysis, but beneficial effects of sports for mental health and arts for peer behaviour remained statistically significant. Minimal effects of extracurricular activity participation for academic achievement were found. We conclude that extracurricular activity participation has beneficial effects on adolescents’ mental health and peer behaviour.
DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.4018679
Research collection: Reports and technical papers
Appears in Collections:Technical Papers

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