Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 507–520 | Cite as

Developmental Benefits of Extracurricular Involvement: Do Peer Characteristics Mediate the Link Between Activities and Youth Outcomes?

  • Jennifer A. FredricksEmail author
  • Jacquelynne S. Eccles


In this article, we test: (a) the relation between school-based extracurricular participation and indicators of positive and negative development across a range of activity contexts, and (b) a mediation model linking activity participation, prosocial peers, and development. Extensive survey information was collected from a predominately White sample of middle class adolescents in 9th, 10th, and 12th grades. Extracurricular participation was related to more favorable academic, psychological, and behavioral adjustment; the pattern of findings differed by activity and outcome. In addition, we documented some support for the hypothesis that the link between extracurricular participation and positive adjustment is partly a function of associating with a prosocial peer group. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are presented.

Key Words

extracurriculars peers youth development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer A. Fredricks
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacquelynne S. Eccles
    • 2
  1. 1.Connecticut CollegeNew London
  2. 2.University of MichiganMichiganUSA

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