Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 391–401 | Cite as

Implications of Out-of-School Activities for School Engagement in African American Adolescents

  • Aryn M. Dotterer
  • Susan M. McHale
  • Ann C. Crouter
Original Paper


The connection between out-of-school activities and school engagement was examined in 140, 6th through 9th grade African American adolescents. Youth’s out-of-school activities were measured with a series of 7 nightly phone calls and focused on time in structured (homework, academically-oriented, extracurricular/sports) and unstructured (watching television, hanging out with peers) activities. School engagement was assessed during a home interview in terms of affective (school bonding), behavioral (school grades), and cognitive (school self-esteem) dimensions. Regression analyses controlling for parents’ education and youth grade in school showed that more time in extracurricular activities was associated with greater school self-esteem and school bonding. In addition, more time spent on homework was associated with greater school bonding for boys. Conversely, more time watching television was associated with lower school self-esteem and school bonding.


Out-of-school activities School engagement African American adolescents Media 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (RO1-HD29409), Ann Crouter and Susan McHale, Co-PI’s. The authors are grateful to their undergraduate and graduate student, staff, and faculty collaborators, as well as the dedicated families who participated in this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aryn M. Dotterer
    • 1
  • Susan M. McHale
    • 2
  • Ann C. Crouter
    • 2
  1. 1.Frank Porter Graham Child Development InstituteThe University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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