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Participation in Extracurricular Activities in Secondary School: What Is Known, What Needs to Be Known? Author(s): Alyce Holland and Thomas Andre Source: Review of Educational Research, Vol. 57, No. 4 (Winter, 1987), pp. 437-466 Published by: American Educational Research Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1170431 . Accessed: 19/07/2013 04:05 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]. . American Educational Research Association is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Review of Educational Research. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 04:05:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

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Participation in Extracurricular Activities in Secondary School: What Is Known, What Needs to Be Known?Participation in Extracurricular Activities in Secondary School: What Is Known, What Needs to Be Known? Author(s): Alyce Holland and Thomas Andre Source: Review of Educational Research, Vol. 57, No. 4 (Winter, 1987), pp. 437-466 Published by: American Educational Research Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1170431 .
Accessed: 19/07/2013 04:05
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp
This content downloaded from on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 04:05:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
Participation in Extracurricular Activities in Secondary School: What Is Known, What Needs to
Be Known?
The paper reviews literature relating to extracurricular participation and adoles- cent development. Five areas are described: personal-social characteristics, aca- demic achievement, educational aspirations and attainments, participants' roles in activities, and environmental social context. A methodological critique and directions for future research are provided. Participation correlated with higher levels of self-esteem, improved race relations, involvement in political/social ac- tivity in young adulthood, academic ability and grades in males, educational as- pirations and attainments, feelings of control over one's life, and lower delin- quency rates. However, causal relationships between participation and desirable characteristics have not been demonstrated. Students in smaller schools partic- ipate in a greater number and variety of extracurricular activities than students in larger schools. Low-ability and lower SES students are more involved in school life in smaller schools. The existing findings justify additional research into the processes by which participation may influence students' lives.
Many factors influence the development and socialization of American ado- lescents including family, peers, schools, and the media. Although family and peers provide the dominant influences, the opportunities and context provided by secondary schools also influence adolescent development. Direct interactions with the academic curriculum in schools, such as the degree of success or failure in various subject matters and the degree of encouragement provided for academic effort, influence the self-esteem, aspirations, and values of adolescents. By col- lecting adolescents into large groups, schools provide a major structural context for peer group interactions during adolescence. Through the pattern of extracur- ricular activities schools allow or disallow, facilitate or inhibit, and the pattern of tangible and intangible rewards provided for participation in activities, schools influence personality development and socialization. It is on the relationship be- tween extracurricular activities and adolescent development that this paper focuses.
Examination of the effects of extracurricular activities is especially timely and important in an era of limited financial resources for schools. Declining enrollment and inflation have tightened school budgets over the last two decades and have produced a heightened perception of the need for accountability in school pro- grams. The last decade has brought a new emphasis on academic achievement. As a result, educators and the public have looked critically at the activity programs offered in secondary schools. Some programs have been eliminated to provide resources perceived of as better used elsewhere. Mostly, such critical review and
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Holland and Andre
decisionmaking has been made on financial grounds and has been uninformed by empirically based knowledge of the effects of programs on adolescent devel- opment.
This review serves three major purposes: (a) to provide an overview of available empirical findings on extracurricular activities, (b) to provide a methodological critique of this research, and (c) to suggest directions for future research on this topic. The research literature on extracurricular activities is diverse. A critical review will provide researchers with a synopsis of extant results and issues. Such a review may help inform policy decisions. The paper is organized into three major sections. Section 1 reviews the relevant literature available regarding par- ticipation in extracurricular activities. Section 2 provides a critique of the meth- odology employed in the studies and discusses general limitations of research on this topic. A final section presents directions for future research. The Appendix lists major characteristics of the studies reviewed including the sample, analytic techniques, independent and dependent variables, and a summary of results.
An extensive and systematic effort was used to locate the articles reviewed. The literature was computer searched using relevant descriptors. The references of major papers were examined for relevant references and these references were examined in turn. References provided in textbook chapters on adolescents and the school were also examined. Only articles that provided empirical data re- garding participation were included; speculative essays regarding values of ac- tivities and descriptions of particular programs were excluded.
Goals, Values, and Extracurricular Activities in American Schools
Although we do not provide a comprehensive discussion of values about Amer- ican schools, a brief discussion of values is necessary because the perspective one takes about extracurricular activities varies with the values and goals one has for schools. In our view, value positions about schools have either an aca- demic or developmental perspective. The academic perspective focuses on in- tellectual competence and stresses that the purpose of schools is the pursuit of academic excellence and transmission of formal knowledge. From this perspec- tive, extracurricular activities provide a means of relaxation or fun, but are clearly unimportant to the primary purpose of schools. In contrast, the developmental position stresses that school programs should provide experiences that further the total development of individual students. The developmental position is more equalitarian, stressing that the development of all individuals must be considered in planning a school program. Nonacademic programs can be as important as academic programs in facilitating the development of the individual. Our societal rhetoric tends to cycle between these positions. For example, Clark and Astuto (1986) argued that before the 1980s, our societal rhetoric focused more on what we have called the developmental position, whereas the rhetoric since 1980 has focused more on the academic position.
The values about schools that researchers hold strongly influence the data they collect and the interpretations they make. For example, in one well-known work on the role of extracurricular activities in schools, Coleman (1961) argued that the adolescent society and its emphasis on extracurricular activities subverted the adult society's purpose for schools, the transmission of academic knowledge. Coleman, an academic, interpreted his data through the glass of academic values.
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Extracurricular Activities
Other researchers have questioned Coleman's assumptions. For example, Friesen (1967) reported that when adolescents were asked about their long-term values, academics were valued more highly than extracurricular activities. In addition, unpublished data collected by the present second author revealed that parents are quite diverse in their values about the goals of schools. Because of Coleman's focusing on the short-term goals of adolescents and assuming a coherence of values that does not exist, both the design and interpretation of his study were strongly influenced by his value position on schools.
Most American secondary schools exist to serve a diverse population of stu- dents; schools serve as one component in the way our society socializes adoles- cents and helps them accomplish the developmental tasks of adolescence. The primary developmental task of adolescence is to construct a self-governing adult (Berzonsky, 1981; Greenberger & Sorenson, 1974). Development of a self-gov- erning adult encompasses several subtasks (e.g., Havighurst, 1972). The academic program of the school serves some of these developmental subtasks. But our industrialized culture age-segregates adolescents in schools, and adult success requires more than academic success. In our view, these considerations require that schools must provide for more than the academic development of adoles- cents, and extracurricular activities should be assessed as one possible mechanism for accomplishing developmental goals.
What Is Known
This section reviews extracurricular activity participation in five different areas: (a) personality/social characteristics, (b) academic achievement and athletic par- ticipation, (c) educational aspirations and attainment, (d) degree of activity in- volvement, and (e) factors that mediate participation effects. Each subsection summarizes the results of studies on that topic. Major conclusions that can be drawn from the available research are provided at the end of the section.
Personal-Social Characteristics
Self-concept and self-esteem. Self-concept refers to the complex of beliefs one has about oneself; one aspect of self-concept, usually called self-esteem, is the value or sense of worth one perceives about oneself. In research on participation, the term self-concept has often been used synonymously with self-esteem. The more restrictive term was used in the discussion below.
Coleman (1961) contended that, during the teenage years, standards of accep- tance are established by peers, and that participation in peer-valued activities is associated with greater peer approval and higher self-esteem. Several studies have investigated the relationship between participation and self-esteem. Phillips (1969) studied participation in four categories of activities (athletics, clubs, music, other) at a predominantly (80%) black high school. For boys, across all activities, a significant positive relationship existed between extracurricular participation and self-esteem scores. No significant relationship was found for girls. When cate- gories of activities were considered separately, participation in music related pos- itively to self-esteem for both sexes. Male first-string athletes had higher average self-esteem than second-string athletes and nonathletes. The school had partic- ularly popular band activities; Phillips concluded that activities that led to pub- licity, such as boys' athletics and music activities, were likely to increase self-
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esteem scores. Similarly, Schendel (1968) reported that male athletes had higher self-worth scores than male nonathletes.
Grabe (1976, 1981) measured self-esteem as a function of activity participation in 15 small and 5 large high schools. Participation was more predictive of self- esteem in small schools than in large schools, and small-school students had the greatest variability in self-esteem scores. The highest scores were among suc- cessful small-school participants, and the lowest scores were among unsuccessful small-school male students. Feelings of alienation were greater in small schools than in large schools. Grabe (1981) theorized that feelings of self-esteem and personal worth were related to pressures to participate in activities. Students in smaller schools perceived a greater pressure to participate and achieve success in activities. Higher pressure and failure in activities led to reduced self-esteem and increased alienation. In a study discussed more completely under race re- lations, Crain, Mahard, and Narat (1982) also reported that extracurricular par- ticipation was correlated with self-esteem.
Dowell, Badgett, and Hunkler (1972) compared the relationship between ath- letic achievement and self-esteem in male athletes recently graduated from high school. Athletic achievement correlated positively with physical and motivational self-esteem but negatively with intellectual self-esteem. This study weakly indi- cates that athletic participation relates to increased physical and motivational self- esteem and reduced intellectual self-esteem. However, the failure to compare athletes to nonathletes weakens the generalizability of this conclusion.
Race relations. Early arguments for school desegregation assumed that inte- gration would result in improved racial attitudes and behaviors. St. John (1975) reviewed more than 40 studies on school desegregation and racial prejudice and found no conclusive results. Recent studies designed to determine which school practices improve race relations have shown positive relationships with extra- curricular participation. Slavin and Madden (1979) examined school practices in southern and northern desegregated high schools using ETS questionnaire data and found that sports activities that promoted interracial student interactions were related to positive racial attitudes and behaviors. Crain (1981; Crain et al., 1982) reported a similar finding. Using data on race relations, general educational ef- fectiveness, and school characteristics from a sample of 200 desegregated south- ern high schools, Crain reported that participation in extracurricular activities was correlated with more positive race relations as well as more positive school attitudes, more personal student-teacher contact, and more parent-school contact. Higher levels of participation also correlated with general school effectiveness. Both the Slavin and Madden and Crain (1981; Crain et al., 1982) results are con- sistent with the results of more experimentally oriented studies demonstrating that mixed racial in-class cooperative learning activities such as jigsaw (Aronson, Bridgeman, & Geffner, 1978) and STAD (Slavin, 1980) do lead to improved race relations. If in-class cooperative activities can facilitate race relations, then it is reasonable to conclude that cooperative extracurricular activities may have sim- ilar effects. In congruence with the idea that extracurricular activities are im- portant sources of cross-racial cooperation, Scott and Damico (1983) reported that students perceived that extracurricular activities were their main source of interracial contact.
Delinquent acts. One argument for extracurricular activities is that they may
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provide an outlet for teenage energies and reduce antisocial or delinquent acts. Landers and Landers (1978) reported that participation in athletic or service ac- tivities was significantly related to lower incidence of delinquent acts. Schafer (1969) reported that, among male athletes, delinquency rates were significantly lower only for academically low-achieving boys and for blue-collar boys. Because such boys typically have higher delinquency rates, the results are consistent with the notion that extracurricular activities promote more prosocial behavior. How- ever, self-selection into activities or lower reporting rates of delinquent acts may also account for the observed differences.
Young adult political and social participation. Two studies have investigated the relationship between participation in high school activities and postsecondary political and social behaviors. Hanks (1981) used data from the National High School Longitudinal Study of 1972 to investigate the relationship between ado- lescent extracurricular participation and young adult political activities. High school activity participation related positively to involvement in political activities 2 years after leaving high school. The relationship held even when class back- ground, ability, academic performance, and self-esteem were partialed out of the regression. Lindsay (1984) used the same data set to examine the relationship between extracurricular participation and social participation in young adults who were nonstudents 5 years after high school. Social participation was assessed by involvement in "youth, union or professional, political, religious, community, organized volunteer work, social or hobby, sports, literary or arts, educational, service, student government, or journalism" (p. 77) activities. High school ac- tivity participation had the strongest relationship to young adult social partici- pation among the predictors employed. Educational attainment and sociability were the next strongest predictors.
Personal-social characteristics of athletes. Previously published reviews of re- search on personality characteristics of athletes and nonathletes have reported that many characteristics such as cooperation, leadership, extroversion, emo- tional stability, self-confidence, and self-discipline do not consistently discrimi- nate athlete from nonathlete groups (Andrews, 1971; Cooper, 1969; Stevenson, 1975). One factor that did seem to discriminate the groups was a "dominance" factor (Booth, 1961; Hunt, 1969; Schendel, 1965). The Schendel study is partic- ularly interesting because differences between male athletes and nonathletes were explored at the 9th- and 12th-grade levels. Athletes were more dominant than nonathletes at both the 9th- and the 12th-grade levels, but the difference was smaller at the 12th-grade level. Nonathletes displayed greater growth than athletes over the interval.
Academic Achievement and Athletic Participation The available research has focused on the relationship between athletic par-
ticipation and academic achievement. In general, reviews of the literature have reported that male high school athletes receive somewhat higher grade point av- erages (GPAs) than do nonathletes (Dowell, Badgett, & Hunkler, 1972; Phillips & Schafer, 1971). For example, Eidsmore (1964) found the overall GPA of varsity football participants in Iowa to be higher than the GPAs of nonparticipants. Sim- ilarly, Schafer and Armer (1968) reported that male athletes averaged about .5 GPA greater than male nonathletes. However, the difference between athletes
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Holland and Andre
and nonathletes was reduced to .11 GPA when the groups were matched on four relevant factors: father's occupation, IQ, curriculum, and previous GPA. Dowell et al. classified entering freshmen at Texas A & M into the 20% most athletically involved and the 20% least athletically involved in high school. They reported that high school GPA of the athletic group slightly, but significantly, exceeded the GPA of the nonathletic group. However, Rehberg and Schafer (1968) reported no relationship between participation and GPA in a sample of high school males. Similarly, in a mixed sample of males and females, Spreitzer and Pugh (1973) failed to find a significant relationship between GPA and athletic involvement.
When standardized achievement or aptitude tests are considered, males whose only extracurricular activities are athletics tend to have lower scores than do nonathletes. Landers, Feltz, Obermeier, and Brouse (1978) reported that males who participated only in athletics scored lower than national averages on the SAT. Males who participated in both athletic and service activities had significantly higher SAT scores than the national average or males who participated only in athletics. Similar results were reported by Rehberg and Cohen (1975).
For females the pattern is quite different. Typically, GPAs of female athletes do not differ significantly from GPAs of nonathletes (Feltz & Weiss, 1984; Hanks & Eckland, 1976). Landers et al. (1978) reported that only one group of females who participated in both athletics and service activities scored significantly higher than national averages on the verbal SAT; all other comparisons involving females were nonsignificant. Feltz and Weiss classified female high school seniors into four groups: athlete-only, service-only, athlete-service, and neither. The groups did not differ significantly on the ACT. However, both SES and extent of par- ticipation predicted ACT scores. Girls from higher SES families had higher ACT scores. Similarly girls involved in five or more activities had significantly higher ACT scores than students involved in four or fewer activities.
Educational Aspiration and Attainment Much research on extracurricular activities has dealt with the development of
educational or occupational aspirations and attainments. Researchers have ex- amined whether participation in activities influences aspirations and/or attainment and whether different types of participation have differential effects. The results have generally indicated a positive relationship between activity participation and increased educational aspirations and attainment. Type of activity, however, does seem to moderate this relationship.
Male aspirations. Rehberg and Schafer (1968) reported a positive relationship between male athletic participation and plans to attend college. For boys not otherwise disposed toward college (low SES, low academic standing, and little parental encouragement), the relationship was strongest. Spreitzer and Pugh (1973) replicated these findings. However, school value/reward climate moderated the observed relationship in the Spreitzer and Pugh study. In schools in which athletes were highly rewarded and valued, the relationship between participation and aspiration was strong; in schools in which the "all-around boy" was re- warded, the relationship was weaker. The weakest (and negligible) relationship between athletic participation and aspiration was found in schools in which aca- demic excellence was rewarded. Spady (1970) reported results congruent with Rehberg and Schafer (1968) and Spreitzer and Pugh; boys from lower SES families
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who participated in athletics tended to have high educational aspirations. Spady (1971) reported that participants in extracurricular activities, particularly service leadership activities, were likely to have college aspirations, whereas nonpar- ticipants in any activities were less likely to have college aspirations. Similarly, Otto (1976) also reported a positive relationship between participation and aspirations. Spady (1970, 1971) argued that participation in athletics was likely to lead ado- lescents to have a high self-perceived peer status and that this high self-perceived peer status would be likely to increase educational aspirations. Spreitzer and Pugh (1973) reported evidence consistent with this view; there was a significant rela- tionship between aspirations and participation among males who had a high self- perceived peer status, but not among boys who had a low self-perceived peer status.
Male attainment. If extracurricular participation is associated with higher edu- cational aspirations, is it also associated with higher educational or occupational attainment? Snyder (1969) reported that social participation was positively cor- related with the educational achievement of males after high school even when IQ and parental SES were controlled. The relationship was greatest for lower SES boys. Spady (1970) hypothesized that self-perceived peer status (rather than actual peer status) would be positively correlated with athletic participation and with educational aspirations, but not with attainment. This is the pattern he found. Boys who participated only in athletics had high self-perceived peer status and were less likely to actually attain educational goals than boys who did not par- ticipate in athletics or service activities or boys who participated only in service and/or in both service and athletic activities. The effect was moderated, however, by intellectual ability; boys with high ability as measured by IQ or grades even if they participated only in athletics, were likely to achieve educational goals. Having an inflated self-perceived peer status was particularly likely for boys who participated only in athletics and was associated with higher educational aspi- rations, but reduced educational goal fulfillment. Students in other activities such as social activities and performing arts were about as likely as the typical student to achieve goals. Participants in no extracurricular activities were substantially less likely than the typical student to achieve goals.
Otto (1975, 1976) and Otto and Alwin (1977) employed multiple regression and path analytic procedures to investigate the effect of extracurricular participation on educational and occupational attainment while controlling for the effects of SES, academic ability, and academic performance. Otto (1975) reported that ex- tracurricular participation accounts for 9% of the explainable variance in edu- cation attainment independently of SES, academic ability, and academic per- formance. Otto (1976) included educational aspiration level, as well as the above control variables, and found that both extracurricular participation and aspiration level contributed independently to educational and occupational attainment. Otto and Alwin investigated whether self-perceived peer status (as described by Spady, 1970, 1971) or significant-other influences mediated the effect of athletic partic- ipation on educational goal attainment. The proportion of the total effect of ath- letic participation mediated by perceived peer status was significantly less than the effect mediated by significant others' influence. Otto and Alwin concluded that Spady's hypothesis that perceived peer status was the dominant intervening mechanism in the effects of athletic participation on educational goals and at-
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tainments was not supported. Hanks and Eckland (1976) developed a model to assess the effects of high school extracurricular participation on educational at- tainment. Activities were divided into athletic and social (which correspond to those Spady had labeled service-leadership). Participation in athletic activities did not directly contribute to educational attainment in males; social participation was strongly and independently associated with higher levels of attainment.
Female participants. In one study to examine extracurricular participation and educational expectation among females, Snyder and Spreitzer (1977) compared female athletic participation in different types of sports with participation in music activities. Girls who participated in both sports and music had a statistically sig- nificant higher level of expectations than nonparticipants, but the differences be- tween participants in sports-only, music-only, and nonparticipants were not sig- nificant. There were some differences among types of athletic activity; gymnasts had the highest level of educational aspirations. Hanks and Eckland (1976) de- veloped a model of the effect of activity participation for females as well as males. Athletic participation bore little relationship to educational outcome for females. As with males, social participation in high school correlated with educational attainment to the same degree (.345 females vs. .385 males). Unlike males, how- ever, the relationship between participation and attainment in females seemed to be due entirely to the correlations between participation and grade performance and participation and peer and teacher contacts. When these effects were partialed out, there was no direct effect of social participation on educational attainment.
Degree of Activity Involvement Most previous research has treated participation as if involvement in a given
activity has the same effects on all participants; however, the limited available research indicates that degree of involvement is an important mediator of the relationships of participation to developmental variables (Burbach, 1972; Feltz & Weiss, 1984; Schendel, 1968; Snyder, 1975). Degree of involvement in athletic activity is correlated with personality and social variables. Snyder studied male basketball players classified as substitutes, starters, or stars. Stars were more likely (95%) than starters (91%) or substitutes (80%) to attend college. Coaches gave advice about attending college more often to stars (75%) than to starters (48%) or substitutes (26%). Stars perceived their coaches to be a "great" influence on them more often (79%) than did starters (51%) or substitutes (31%). Phillips (1969) reported that first-string male athletes had significantly higher self-esteem than did second-string athletes. In Schendel's (1968) longitudinal study, substitute athletes did not change on the self-acceptance and dominance scales, whereas outstanding athletes, regular players, and nonathlete groups all demonstrated sub- stantial increases on these scales. Schendel suggested that the substitutes' lack of athletic achievement may have led to a feeling of frustration that accounted for their lack of growth in dominance and self-acceptance. Taken collectively, these studies suggest that athletes of different ability levels appear to have dif- fering experiences and development associated with sports participation.
Extent of participation. An additional variable that has often been ignored in studies of extracurricular participation is the total number of activities in which students are involved. As noted previously, Feltz and Weiss (1984) reported that ACT scores were higher in girls engaged in five or more activities than in girls
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who engaged in four or fewer activities. Spady (1970) reported that boys who participated in both athletic and service activities had the highest educational aspirations and attainments compared to boys who participated in only one type of activity. Otto (1975, 1976) and Otto and Alwin (1977) similarly reported that quantitative measures of activity involvement independently correlated with edu- cational attainment. Burbach (1972) examined the relationship between extent of participation and feelings of societal and school powerlessness. He defined pow- erlessness as the feeling of having little or no influence over life events. Both societal and high school powerlessness decreased as the number of activities in which students were involved increased. In addition, individuals who held school- related offices felt significantly more powerful and in control than non-office holders. These studies, involving both athletic and nonathletic activities, suggest that degree of involvement in extracurricular activities is significantly correlated with positive personality-social characteristics among secondary school students.
Environmental Social Context and Extracurricular Participation The school and community contexts in which extracurricular activities take
place are likely to influence the perceived nature and value of extracurricular activities among students. As a gross example, note the differential rewards and publicity associated with successful chessplaying in the United States and the Soviet Union. School and community context variables are likely to mediate re- lationships between extracurricular activity and personality-social developmental variables. Context variables that have been investigated include school/com- munity value climate, SES, GPA, and school size.
School and community values. Schools and communities vary in the importance they place on different activities. Eitzen (1975) examined school and community characteristics in regard to sports participation. Small rural communities placed great value on and were more supportive of their high school athletic teams than were larger communities. School sports had high prestige particularly in com- munities with a lower percentage of professional persons and with a higher per- centage of lower income families. Schools that had a strict authority structure had students that were more enthusiastic toward athletic teams than were students in schools with a more permissive structure.
SES, GPA, and political attitude. Family SES has generally been reported as a mediating factor in examining the relationships of extracurricular participation. As noted previously, effects of athletic participation are generally greater on lower class than on middle class boys (Otto, 1975, 1976; Snyder, 1969; Spady, 1970, 1971). Otto (1976) reported that SES correlated positively with extracurricular participation. In the Hanks and Eckland (1976) study, SES was negatively related to sports participation among male athletes, but not among females. Reasons for the discrepancies between the studies with regard to SES are not clear. The single greatest correlation with participation for both males and females was with grades. Hanks and Eckland reported that participants were likely to be those who pre- viously had good grades, were enrolled in an academic curriculum, had college- oriented friends, and had contacts with their teachers. Eyler (1982) examined the relationship between political attitudes and participation in school governance and nongovernance activities (excluding athletic activities) among high school boys and girls. School-specific political attitudes were the strongest correlates of
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participation in school governance or nongovernance activities. General political attitudes correlated with participation for boys, but not girls. Interestingly, girls were more likely than boys to participate in both governance and nongovernance activities.
School size. An inverse relationship between school size and participation has been demonstrated in numerous studies. Barker and Gump (1964) investigated the relationship between school size and behavioral settings (opportunities for students to participate in activities). Behavioral settings increased much more slowly than school population; the largest schools had 65 times as many students as the smallest schools, but only 2.3 times the number of academic activities and 4 times the number of athletic activities. Barker and Hall (1964) used yearbooks to compare school size and extent of activity participation; in small schools, the typical student participated in more than twice as many activities as students in larger schools. Barker and Gump concluded that as schools get larger, propor- tionally fewer students can be directly involved in activities.
Wicker (1968) used the relationship between behavioral settings to explain the differential rates of participation in large and small schools. In large schools, the ratio of settings to participants was low and in a sense the activity was "over- personed" so participation rates had to be low. In small schools the ratio of settings to potential participants was high and the activity was "underpersoned." Individuals had to participate in several activities in order to maintain the activity. In underpersoned schools, participants reported feeling needed and challenged, having important jobs, and developing self-confidence. Interestingly, Wicker re- ported that for the few underpersoned activities in large schools, participants' experiences were similar to those in small schools. Gump and Friesen (1964) reported that small-school students participated in positions of responsibility and school activities at higher rates than large-school students. In a comparison of juniors matched on sex, IQ, and race, Gump and Friesen further reported that small-school students gained satisfactions from developing competence, being challenged, and acquiring moral and cultural values. Large-school students, on the other hand, reported gaining satisfaction more from vicarious activities and being part of a large crowd. Differences as a function of school size largely dis- appeared, however, when students' positions of importance in activities were held constant. Grabe (1976, 1981), Kleinert (1969), Downey (1978), and Baird (1969) similarly reported that school size was related inversely to participation rates. In a follow-up study of college students, Baird found that high school participation rates did not correlate with participation in college activities. Rather, participation rates in college activities were related to college size. Using the Barker and Gump data, Willems (1964, 1967) found that, in small schools more than in large schools, students at risk of dropping out of school were more likely to be involved in school activities, felt a greater obligation and pressure to be involved, and were more integrated into the social activities of the school. Campbell (1964) and Lind- say (1982) found that the relationships between school size and participation were independent of community size. Participation rates were higher in small schools in urban as well as in rural areas, and students in small schools reported expe- riencing more involvement and satisfaction. It is particularly noteworthy that participation rates for lower SES students were much higher in small than in large schools (Lindsay, 1982).
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The available research indicates that participation in extracurricular activities, including both athletic and nonathletic activities, is positively correlated with desirable personality/social characteristics. Participation is associated with higher levels of self-esteem (Crain et al., 1982; Grabe, 1981; Phillips, 1969; Schendel, 1968). Participation has also been correlated with improved race relations (Crain et al.), involvement in political and social activity as a young adult (Hanks, 1981; Lindsay, 1984), male academic ability and grades (Eidsmore, 1964; Schafer & Armer, 1968), educational aspirations (Spady, 1971), feelings of control over one's life (Burbach, 1972), and lower delinquency rates (Landers & Landers, 1978). Males who participate in nonathletic, service/leadership-oriented activities are more likely to achieve educational aspirations than males who participate only in athletic activities (Spady, 1971).
Although such correlations have been shown to exist, the available research does not demonstrate convincingly that participation causes such desirable out- comes. As has been noted, participants and nonparticipants select themselves into or out of extracurricular activities. Preexisting personality and social differ- ences between participants and nonparticipants may account for the observed correlations. Indeed, differences in such preexisting variables as father's occu- pation, IQ, curriculum, and previous GPA have been shown to substantially re- duce or eliminate differences between male athletes and nonathletes on GPA and between female participants and nonparticipants on educational attainment (Hanks & Eckland, 1976; Schafer & Armer, 1968). Some evidence, however, consistent with the hypothesis that participation produces causal effects exists. Some research, using causal modeling techniques, has indicated that, in males, participation does have relationships with the outcome variable of educational attainment that are independent of obvious moderator variables such as SES and academic ability (Hanks & Eckland; Otto, 1975, 1976; Otto & Alwin, 1977). Re- search on the effects of school size has shown that smaller schools lead to higher rates of participation and that associated with such rates, students in smaller schools possess desirable characteristics (Gump & Friesen, 1964; Lindsay, 1982; Willems, 1964, 1967). Such differences between large and small schools have been found even when locale of the school (urban vs. rural) is held constant. Although it is possible that some unknown factor or factors are confounded with school size and account for the observed differences, the results of available research on school size are certainly consistent with a hypothesis that increased partici- pation in extracurricular activities influences adolescent development in a positive way, but do not offer substantial confirmation for that hypothesis.
In saying that participation may influence adolescent development positively, we are not saying that we believe that participation, per se, influences devel- opment. If participation is related causally to desirable outcomes, then we believe that participation has effects because of what happens as a result of participation. Consistent with the developmental perspective described previously, participa- tion may lead adolescents to acquire new skills (organizational, planning, time- management, etc.), to develop or strengthen particular attitudes (discipline, mo- tivation), or to receive social rewards that influence personality characteristics. The available literature provides hints that participation leads to such effects as
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Phillips's (1969) finding that participation in activities popular among adolescents was related to higher self-esteem and Spady's (1970, 1971) analyses of the rela- tionships between participation in athletics, self-perceived peer status, educa- tional aspirations, and attainments. But the available literature also fails to sub- stantially demonstrate a causal sequence between participation, process variables, and desirable outcome variables.
SES, ability, and participation. The relationship between participation and de- sirable outcomes seems to be stronger for male adolescents from lower SES fam- ilies and of lower academic ability. For example, lower SES boys who participate in athletics are more likely to have higher educational aspirations than lower SES boys who do not participate; for higher SES boys, the differences are greatly reduced (Snyder, 1969; Spady, 1970). Lower SES boys are more likely to be participants in small schools than in large schools; differences for middle class boys are less extreme (Lindsay, 1982). Lower class boys who do participate in extracurricular activities are more involved in school life (Willems, 1964, 1967). Similarly, Spady (1970) demonstrated that boys who participated in athletics and who had lower IQ or grades were more likely to have higher educational aspi- rations than nonparticipants.
Sex differences. A number of sex differences in the relationships between ex- tracurricular participation and other variables have been found. Male athletes have often been reported to have slightly higher GPAs than nonathletes (Dowell et al., 1972; Phillips & Schafer, 1971; Schafer & Armer, 1968). Differences have not been reported for female athletes. Even though male athletes receive better grades, males whose only participation is athletics receive lower standardized ability test scores (Landers et al., 1978). Again for females, few differences have been found. Participation in service/leadership independently predicts educational attainment for males, but not for females (Hanks & Eckland, 1976).
Community and school values and participation. The relationships between
participation and other variables covary with the values that the school and com- munity place on particular activities. For males, a strong relationship between athletic participation and educational aspiration was found in schools that valued athletic activities, but was not found in schools that valued academic excellence (Spreitzer & Pugh, 1973). Schools that especially value athletics are more likely to be found in smaller, rural communities and communities with a lower average SES (Eitzen, 1975).
School size. Participation rates are higher in smaller schools than in larger schools (Barker & Hall, 1964; Grabe, 1981; Lindsay, 1982). Pupils in smaller schools report receiving satisfactions in school that are consistent with devel- opmental growth, such as feeling needed, being challenged, and developing self- confidence. Pupils in large schools report receiving satisfactions for less devel- opmentally appropriate reasons, such as vicarious activities and being part of a large crowd (Gump & Friesen, 1964; Wicker, 1968). Students at risk of dropping out seem more integrated into smaller schools than larger schools (Wjllems, 1964, 1967).
Negative relationships. Not all the relationships between participation and other variables are positive in nature. Low-SES and low-ability males who par- ticipate only in athletics have an inflated sense of their peer status (Spady, 1970).
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Extracurricular Activities
Students who fail to achieve success in activities feel alienated from school, par- ticularly when pressure to participate is high (Grabe, 1981).
Research Limitations
The most serious methodological problem plaguing research on participation involves the self-selection of students into participant and nonparticipant cate- gories. Self-selection is a necessary condition of these studies; by its very nature participation in extracurricular activities is voluntary. The danger of self-selection is that preexisting differences between groups of students who choose or do not choose to participate, rather than the influence of participation, may account for observed differences between participation and nonparticipation groups. In fact, preexisting differences may lead some students to participate in a given activity and other students to avoid participating in that activity, hopelessly confounding effects of preexisting differences and participation. An example of this latter issue may occur in comparing the work of Hanks (1981) and Eyler (1982). Hanks re- ported that adult political involvement related to extracurricular participation in high school. Eyler demonstrated that participation in high school related to both general and school-specific political attitudes. If political attitudes predict par- ticipation and participation predicts adult political involvement, then it is certainly plausible that adult political involvement is more related to adolescent political attitudes than to participation.
Given that self-selection cannot be avoided in research on participation, how is it possible to proceed with research in this area? The first step is to be aware of the dangers of self-selection and to employ procedures designed to minimize its effects. Many of the studies reviewed have simply taken a sample of conve- nience, assessed participation levels and other characteristics at a given point in time, and examined relationships between participation and other variables. This approach represents the weakest, most inadequate design for research on partic- ipation. At best, it can reveal only correlations between participation and other variables. Unfortunately, researchers have sometimes interpreted and discussed such correlations as if they permitted causal inferences. In particular, researchers have been tempted to conclude that correlations between participation and so- cially desired characteristics imply that participation causes such characteristics. Evidence from studies that simply compare participants and nonparticipants on variables of interest provide no evidence for causal relationships.
Moderator Variables and Social Context
A somewhat more sophisticated approach is to assess variables that are likely to covary with the dependent variables of interest and to statistically separate participation from such variables. An example of this approach was provided by the Schafer and Armer (1968) study, which found that differences between athletes and nonathletes in grades were reduced substantially when factors such as father's occupation, IQ, curriculum, and previous GPA were controlled. In a more so- phisticated version, regression procedures, such as path analysis, are used to separate relationships between interacting variables. Good examples of this ap- proach are provided by the work of Otto (1975, 1976), Otto and Alwin (1977),
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and Eyler (1982). Eyler, for example, included assessments of general political attitudes, school political attitudes, general social attitudes, school social atti- tudes, and grade level in developing a path-analytic model of participation in school political and nonpolitical activities. Review of literature on participation, as well as theoretical analysis, can yield plausible moderator variables to be con- sidered in research on participation. Variables that have been shown to interact with participation and outcome measures in the present review include family SES, community values, student ability, school size, nature of extracurricular activity, extent of extracurricular participation, degree of success in extracurric- ular activity, self-esteem, self-perceived peer status, and significant-other influ- ences. Certainly these, as well as other variables, should be considered in planning research on participation.
Our call for greater examination of moderator variables represents a call that researchers adequately ground their studies in the environmental/social context of the communities studied. Adolescents attending high school are participants in a social system that extends beyond the physical context of the school building and the temporal context of the hours spent there. The social system of a particular community-the activities it values, the role high school activities play in the community, the values parents communicate to children, the community support provided for high school, the range of opportunities provided for adolescents in the community-serves to define the roles, functions, values, and rewards pro- vided for participation. High schools and the opportunities they provide for ad- olescents have meanings only as defined both by the social characteristics of communities in which they exist and by the specific characteristics of the high schools themselves. Community, in the sense referred to here, means the in- creasingly larger social networks-family, peer groups, neighborhoods, ethnic groups, towns, cities, regions-in which adolescents and schools find themselves.
Longitudinal Designs One significant design flaw in research on participation is the general failure
to conduct longitudinal research. Only one study, Schendel (1968), employed a longitudinal design, although Otto and Alwin (1976) attempted to assess time- related changes by getting retrospective data. Longitudinal designs would offer increased opportunities to deal with issues of self-selection. If a sample were followed from preparticipation period through a postparticipation period, pre- participation assessment of moderator and outcome variables of interest poten- tially would permit researchers to separate the interacting influences of these variables and participation on postparticipation assessment of outcome variables. Longitudinal designs would permit a better assessment of causal relationships between participation experiences and outcome variables. Admittedly, longitu- dinal designs are more complex and resource demanding than one-shot cross- sectional survey studies. But the time span involved in research on participation does not seem particularly demanding. Even a time delay of 1 or 2 years between waves of data collection could yield valuable information about the interrela- tionships of moderator variables, participation, and outcome variables. Moreover, each wave of data collection could yield data in its own right.
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Extracurricular Activities
Sample Quality
There is considerable variation in the quality of the samples in the research reported above. Some studies have employed simple samples of convenience from a particular school; others have been able to utilize data from broader samples of schools, and a few studies have been based on nationwide data bases such as information collected in conjunction with the SAT or ACT. Obviously, more adequate and representative samples are to be desired, but given the realities of educational research, both research utilizing samples of convenience and more adequate samples are likely to continue to appear. We do not believe that research involving samples of convenience should be eschewed, but we do believe that such samples should be described more adequately than has typically been the case. Most of the studies have adequately described the numbers of males and females in the studies and the grade levels of subjects. However, descriptive information on potentially useful moderator variables such as SES and intellectual ability level have typically not been included in sample descriptions. One im- portant value of small-scale sample-of-convenience studies is that they provide elements of a data base that can be used for reviews of research or quantitatively oriented meta-analytic studies. The greater the descriptive information available about samples, the greater the potential value of such studies to analytic or quan- titative reviews. Given that very large-scale, very comprehensive studies of par- ticipation are impractical, it is from such integration of smaller scale studies that a more complete picture of the effects of participation is likely to emerge.
Additional Problems
A number of additional methodological weaknesses plague research on partic- ipation. Typically, the length, type of, and success achieved in activity partici- pation have not been clearly assessed or defined in the studies. Participation in a social activity or athletic team has been assumed to produce the same rela- tionships for all individuals involved. Studies that have differentiated types of activities and success levels (Schendel, 1965, 1968; Snyder, 1975) have demon- strated that different types of or levels of participation lead to different effects. Research in this area needs to describe types of activities and to assess the level and process of involvement more adequately.
A more specific problem, unfortunately pervasive in educational research, is the unit of analysis problem. When students are grouped into interacting entities such as classes, athletic teams, social clubs and organizations, schools, and so forth, the group may produce interactions that influence the behavior of individual members. Group membership needs to be recognized explicitly in statistical anal- yses (Hopkins, 1982; Myers, 1966). Failure to do so may lead to a misleading description of relationships because variance properly ascribed to group mem- bership is mixed in with variance associated with other variables. In the present case, many studies used several schools in obtaining a sample, yet schools were not used as a variable or factor in analyses. For example, suppose a study used a multischool sample and compared participants and nonparticipants on self-es- teem using ANOVA. The typical analysis that has been done is to do a one-way ANOVA with participation as the factor and self-esteem score as the dependent
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Holland and Andre
measure. A more correct analysis would be to include schools as a factor with individuals nested within schools.
Theoretical Analysis
Most studies of participation have contained neither a detailed theoretical ra- tionale for the research nor a description of the theoretical processes by which participation should influence individual development. To hypothesize that par- ticipation influences self-esteem positively is not a theoretical statement. Rather, a theory about self-esteem and participation would describe how individuals with specified characteristics would experience particular processes occurring as a result of participation in a given activity and, as a result, experience changes in self-esteem. Given such a theoretical description, researchers could focus not only on outcome measures and molar descriptive variables (e.g., SES, grades), but a more molecular analysis of the effects of participation would be permitted. For example, Eyler (1982) argued that participation in school activities leads to the development of political skills, but made no direct assessment of "political skills." In addition, one would assume that if participation teaches political skills, then different levels of participation (member vs. officer), differential success at participation, and differential types of participation (singing in the chorus vs. presidency of the school assembly) would produce differential learning of political skills. An adequate theoretical analysis of how participation might effect political skill learning would lead to the identification of more molecular process and out- come variables to be assessed in a study and used to confirm, reject, or modify a theory. Thus, a more theoretical approach to research on participation would lead to a finer grained understanding of how participation occurs and how par- ticipation influences adolescent development.
Future Directions for Research on Participation
General Guidelines
This section discusses directions for future research on participation and out- lines a set of general guidelines for such research. The guidelines are based on the critique of the available research presented above and are designed to over- come the shortcomings identified by that critique. A model for research on teach- ing proposed by Dunkin and Biddle (1974) served as the basis for the guidelines. Dunkin and Biddle proposed that variables that influence the teaching process could be classified into four categories: (a) presage variables, (b) context vari- ables, (c) process variables, and (d) product variables; we argue that these dis- tinctions are also useful in participation research.
Presage variables. Presage variables are background "predictor" variables that provide input into a process. For the issue of participation, presage variables would include participant background variables such as family characteristics (e.g., SES, number of siblings, family values), participant personality character- istics (e.g., level of extroversion/introversion, intelligence, grades), and prior ex- periences (e.g., newness to community, involvement/success in previous activi- ties). In the participation universe, presage variables can have effects in two ways. They may exert a direct influence on product (outcome) variables or they may influence the operation of process variables, which in turn influence product vari-
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Extracurricular Activities
ables. The direction of influence is presumed to flow between presage variables to process or product variables because presage variables exist prior to involve- ment in an activity.
Context variables. Context variables are variables that describe the context in which the participation process takes place. They differ from presage variables in that they are measures of the context in which activity takes place, whereas presage variables are measures of the characteristics of the individuals who par- ticipate in the process. Both presage and context variables generally exist prior to the participation activity and the distinction between them is somewhat ar- bitrary. The distinction is made in order to emphasize that both individual and contextual variables must be considered in designing research on participation. Context variables include factors such as the social class of the community in which participation takes place, community size, the opportunities available to adolescents in that community, the structure of the school system in the com- munity (e.g., busing vs. neighborhood schools, presence of competing schools), community and school valuing of particular activities.
Process variables. Process variables refer to aspects of the processes that occur while the individual participates in a given activity. In the context of extracur- ricular activities in school, process variables would refer to such variables as the success the individual achieves in an activity, the material and social reinforce- ments the individual receives from participating (from parents, peers, teachers, community), skills gained from the activity, social comparisons or attributions made by the individual, changes in peer groups or models, exposure to different values, and the influence of the participation on other aspects of the child's life. Hypothetically, the influence of participation can be both direct and indirect. For example, participation may lead to direct social reinforcements and a sense of accomplishment. This would be a relatively direct effect. A more indirect effect might be that participation in an activity would change students' time of leaving school and thereby they would ride home with coparticipants. Such contact with coparticipants may lead to individuals' being exposed to a wider range of oc- cupational options and, in turn, lead to a change in educational aspirations. Al- though we do not posit that either of these effects occurs, we believe that re- searchers should remain aware of the possibility of both direct and more subtle effects.
Product variables. Product variables are outcome variables and represent the dependent measures that researchers have or might assess. Examples of such variables in the participation literature are: academic achievement, popularity, educational aspirations, educational accomplishments, self-esteem. It should be noted that product variables can be either proximate (short-term) or distal (long- term). Proximate variables would be effects that result immediately from partic- ipation (e.g., social rewards, changes in popularity). Distal variables would be effects that become noticeable only after time (e.g., changes in educational ac- complishments, vocational success, adult personality characteristics). The dis- tinction between short-term and long-term variables is somewhat arbitrary and, again, is made to emphasize that both short-term and long-term effects of par- ticipation need to be considered in research on participation.
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Research Guidelines
The distinctions between presage, context, process, and product variables lead to a set of guidelines for designing research on participation. Because research questions often begin in a concern about outcomes (e.g., Does participation help/ hurt achievement?), the guidelines begin with the product variables and work backward to presage and context variables.
1. Identify product variables of interest. Identifying product variables means specifying general categories of outcomes in which the researcher is interested and then specifying particular marker variables for those general categories. For example, in a study about achievement, the general category would be academic achievement; the specific marker variables could be GPA, standardized achieve- ment test scores, researcher developed tests, and so forth. In a study examining the general category of adolescent pregnancy, questionnaire responses about con- traceptive use, pregnancy, or abortion rates may serve as marker variables. Of course, the more evidence that exists for the reliability and validity of the specific marker variables selected, the stronger the study would be.
2. Identify processes (and marker variables) assumed to influence the selected product variables. Working from the research literature and an explicit theoretical model, researchers should ask which processes are likely to influence these out- come measures. If the identified processes can be related to an explicitly stated theory, the research would be strengthened. Identified processes should be op- erationalized by appropriate marker variables. For example, if exposure to peer attitudes in a given activity may be expected to influence educational aspiration, then a marker variable to assess both exposure to and the nature of peer attitudes in the activity should be collected in the study. Among process variables that researchers should consider are the extent of, nature of, timing of, and success at extracurricular activities. As this review has shown, the relationship between participation and product variables is likely to vary with these process variables.
3. Identify presage variables likely to influence both process and product variables.
4. Identify context variables likely to influence process and product variables. Identification of presage and context variables would be based on the available literature and theoretical model a researcher adopts. The researcher should be especially concerned with assessing presage and context variables that are likely to be confounded with participation. Assessing such variables in a given study can help rule out competing alternative hypotheses if a relationship between par- ticipation and product variables is found or can help demonstrate how partici- pation interacts with presage or context variables. On the basis of this literature review, presage variables that may influence process or product variables are SES, ability, and previous grades. Context variables that have shown influences on product variables include school values and popularity of an activity. Studies should assess such variables routinely; additional context or presage variables will be relevant, however, depending on the nature of a particular study.
Although these guidelines are quite general and simplified, we believe they are useful in organizing research on extracurricular participation. Clearly, much of the available research has not explicitly or implicitly been developed from guide- lines such as the above. We believe that use of these guidelines would lead re-
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Extracurricular Activities
searchers to become more theoretically explicit and to plan studies that encom- pass a wider range of variables and that can use more sophisticated statistical procedures to assess more complex models of effects. Obviously both practical and theoretical limitations will influence the implementation of these guidelines in any particular research study, but we believe that closer attention to this ap- proach will raise both the theoretical and methodological adequacy of research on participation.
Specifically Needed Research It is clear that participation in extracurricular activities relates a number of
desirable characteristics, for example: self-esteem, educational aspirations, feel- ings of control, lower levels of alienation. What is not clear is the extent to which participation contributes to such characteristics or whether participants and non- participants differ a priori in such characteristics or whether such characteristics covary with participation because of relationships to other factors. One clear need is for research that compares students prior and subsequent to participation in a given activity. Thus, research that followed students from late elementary school or junior high into high school and related participation patterns to changes in self-esteem, educational aspirations, feelings of control, and so forth would be especially valuable in separating the effects of participation from other factors. As proposed by our guidelines, such research should include presage, context, and process variables as well as pre- and postmeasures of the product variable of interest.
An equally important need is for research that systematically examines the relationships of participation in different types of activities. Too many studies have lumped all forms of participation together. The few studies that have ex- amined different types of activities have demonstrated differences. Even within a given category of activities, such as athletics, differences between sports have been found. We need to know whether such differences generalize across samples and if such differences are a result of selection processes into different sports, if they occur because of participation in given sports, or if participation in a given sport or activity enhances preexisting personality/social characteristics of indi- viduals who choose to participate in that activity.
A related question is whether different levels of involvement and success with an activity influence processes of participation in that activity and relationships of participation to other variables. Again, the available research indicates that differences related to level of involvement and success with participation are likely to influence what happens to adolescents as a result of participation. Star, starter, and substitute athletes seem to have differential experiences as a result of par- ticipation in athletics (Snyder, 1975); girls who participate in a lot of activities seem to be different from girls who participate in fewer (Feltz & Weiss, 1984). Differences between the sexes on the effects of participation are an additional area that needs further exploration. The extant research suggests that how par- ticipation relates to outcome variables varies as a function of sex. The processes that determine such differences need to be explored. Over the last 25 years, the research span covered by this literature, societal values have changed with respect to female participation in the area of athletics. Athletics for females receives proportionally greater funding than in previous years and the rewards of partic-
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ipation, for example, publicity and opportunities for college scholarships, have also increased. Such changes justify additional research looking at the effects of athletic participation on females.
An additional question is whether there are "critical periods" during which participation has effects.' For example, do students who begin participating early in their school experience (junior high) experience differential effects of partic- ipation than students who begin later? A related issue is to determine the factors that lead students to participate in particular extracurricular activities. Certain factors, SES, grades, political attitudes, and school size have been shown to covary with participation. However, the research designs have typically measured such factors contemporaneously with participation and thus do not permit dis- ambiguation of the direction of the relationships. Again, longitudinally oriented research would help to resolve this issue.
The research on school size is particularly fruitful in implications for future research. Smaller schools have been associated with increased levels of partici- pation and with desirable personality/social characteristics. Some larger schools have instituted procedures designed to mimic characteristics of smaller schools, for example, the division of students into "teams" with separate activity oppor- tunities. One important line of research would be to determine the extent to which such procedures do reduce participation differences between smaller and larger schools.
Obviously, any listing of research possibilities from a research area as complex as research on participation could continue virtually endlessly. We do not intend to provide an exhaustive listing. Rather, it seems clear to us that the available research on participation in extracurricular activities has identified provocative relationships between participation and personality/social characteristics. We be- lieve that the existing results support an argument that extracurricular activities potentially can play an important role in the school's contribution to each ado- lescent's development. The academic perspective referred to previously would consign extracurricular activities to a subsidiary role and focus resources on aca- demic excellence. The results reviewed herein suggest that extracurricular ac- tivities may play a role consistent with the alternate developmental perspective. They may provide opportunities to promote adolescents' growth toward com- petent adulthood. The existing results fully justify allocation of resources and research effort to developing a more complete understanding of the role of ex- tracurricular activities in adolescent development. We hope that this review serves as a stimulant for researchers to pursue that challenge.
We are indebted to an anonymous reviewer for this suggestion.
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Independent variables Dependent variables (instruments) Summary of results
Personal-social characteristics
Crain, 1981 Students in 200 desegregated southern high schools; n = 10,000
Dowell, Badgett, & Hunkler, 1972
Male athletes; n = 475
Grabe, 1976 9th-12th grade students in 15 small and 5 large high schools; males: n = 803, females: n = 759
Hanks, 1981 National Longitudinal Study (NLS) of high school seniors; n =
Analysis of variance
Athletic achievement: number of years and sports, honors, captain status
School size; activity participation
School racial and general educational effectiveness (questionnaires)
Self-concept: intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and motivational (Hope, 1960, "Self-Rating Scale")
Self-concept (Piers-Harris [1964] Children's Self- Scale)
Young adult political involvement (questionnaires)
Higher rates of activity participation were predictive of school and racial effectiveness.
Athletic achievement correlated positively with physical and motivational self-concepts, negatively with intellectualism.
Small-school students reported more variability on self-concept scales.
Instrumental activities increased young adult political involvement more than expressive activities.
Author Sample Analytic techniques
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Independent variables Dependent variables (instruments) Summary of results
Landers & Male students in Landers, 1978 a single high
school; n = 521
Lindsay, 1984 NLS of high school seniors; n = 8,952
Phillips, 1969 Senior in an 80% black high school; n = 188
Schendel, 1965
Schendel, 1968
Male athletes: 9th grade: 120; 12th grade: 109; college: 105
Analysis of variance; chi- square
Multiple regression; path analysis
t tests
12th grade (were t tests 9th graders in 1965 study); n = 91
Activity participation (male): athlete-only, athlete- service, service-only, neither
Activity participation: education, sociability, gender
Activity participation: athletics, clubs, music, and other
Athletic participation: 9th grade, 12th grade, college (cross-sectional study)
Athletic participation: 9th grade, 12th grade (longitudinal study)
Delinquent acts (court records)
Self-concept (Osgood Semantic Differential, Osgood, Suci, & Tannenbaum, 1958)
Personal-social characteristics (California Psychological Inventory-CPI)
Personal-social characteristics (CPI)
Male participants, first-string male athletes, and music participants had the highest self-concept scores.
9th-grade athletes possessed more desirable traits than nonathletes; 12th-grade athletes had fewer high scores, college athletes only one.
Nonathletes showed greater gains in desirable traits than athletes.
Author Sample Analytic techniques
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Multiple regression
Race relations in desegregated high schools (questionnaire: Educational Testing Service)
Working with other races in class or activities showed the greatest relationship to improved race relations.
Academic achievement and athletic participation
Eidsmore, 1964
Landers, Feltz, Obermeier, & Brouse, 1978
Varsity football players from 24 high schools and nonparticipants; n = 592
Senior girls from four high schools; n = 934
Two independent groups of male and female students; n = 239 Group 1, n = 403 Group 2
Schafer & Sophomore Armer, 1968 athletes and
nonathletes from two high schools; n = 585
Compared grade-point averages
Analysis of covariance
Varsity football participation Grade point average (school in 24 high schools records)
Female participation: athlete- only, service-only, neither, SES
Independent t Athletic-only participation; tests athlete-service participation
Compared grade Athletic participation by point averages sophomore males
Academic aptitude (American College Test scores: Composite and English subscore)
Academic aptitude (Scholastic Aptitude Test scores: total and verbal subscore)
Football players had higher GPAs than nonparticipants.
Athlete-only had the lowest scores (not significant). High SES and participation in more than 5 activities were positively related to high ACT scores.
Athlete-only males were below the male national average on total and verbal SAT scores. Athlete- service were above average.
Grade point average (school Athletes had higher reported records) GPAs.
Slavin & Madden, 1979
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Hanks & Eckland, 1976
Otto, 1975, 1976
Otto & Alwin, 1977
(instruments) Summary of results
Educational aspiration and attainment
947, females: n = 1,130
Multiple regression; path analysis
Activity participation; family SES; mental ability; academic achievement
Athletic participation; perceived peer status; significant-other influence (California Test of Personality)
Educational attainment; factors leading to participation (surveys, questionnaires)
Education, occupation, and income attainment (questionnaire)
Educational and occupational aspirations; educational and occupational attainment; income (questionnaires)
Social participation resulted in more positive effects on educational attainment. Factors leading to participation included teacher contact, college plans, and grades (social only).
Extracurricular participation increased educational goal attainment 9% over other variables. A positive relationship between participation and all three variables was demonstrated.
The effects of athletic participation on aspirations and attainment were attributed to significant- other influence rather than perceived peer status.
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six high schools; n = 785
Snyder, 1969 Male seniors from one high
school; n = 343
Snyder & Spreitzer, 1977
Random sample of female athletes from Ohio high schools; n =
Percentage Social participation in high school
Zero-order correlation; analysis of covariance
Adolescent values; young adult values; educational and occupational attainment (questionnaires)
Female athletic participation; Educational expectations female music involvement (questionnaires)
A positive relationship between sports participation and educational expectation was revealed.
Values changed from adolescence to young adulthood. Participants finished college and reported higher rates of white-collar jobs than nonparticipants.
Female athletes-music participants had higher expectations than music- only, athlete-only, or nonparticipants.
Spady, 1970, Senior male 1971 athletes from
two neighboring high schools; n = 297
Spreitzer & Male and female Pugh, 1973 senior athletes
from 13 high schools; n =
Type of activity: sports, social clubs, arts, service- leadership, no activity; peer status; academic achievement
Athletic participation; perceived peer status; school value climate
Educational goals; educational attainment (questionnaires)
Educational expectations (questionnaires)
Athletes reported high educational goals but low fulfillment. Service- leadership had the highest goal fulfillment.
High perceived peer status and an athletic value climate were positively related to educational expectations.
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Analytic Dependent variables Author Sample Analytic Independent variables Deennt bles Summary of results Degree of activity involvetrument s) Degree of activity involvement
Burbach, 1972 All students in grades 10-12 from a single high school; n = 565
Snyder, 1975 High school basketball players from 270 high schools plus 98 star players
Product moment correlation; squared multiple- correlation coefficients
Alienation Scale)
Educational plan; college advice from coach; player's perception of coach's confidence
Participants, officeholders, and females had lower powerless scores.
Team involvement and star status were positively related to all three dependent variables.
Environmental social context and extracurricular participation Students from 13
high schools that varied in size
Students in 218 high schools ranging in size from 18-2,287 students
School size: 13 schools ranging from 35 to 2,287 students
School size
Extent and depth of activity participation
Increases in school size resulted in increased behavioral settings, but at a slower rate.
Students at small schools participated in greater numbers and kinds of activities.
Barker & Gump, 1964
Barker & Hall, 1964
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Eitzen, 1975 Sophomores, juniors, and seniors from nine high schools; n = 868
Eyler, 1982 Students from, 13 high schools that varied in size, location, racial and social makeup, and political climate; n = 3,087
Wicker, 1968 Junior students from four small and one large high school; n = 191
Willems, 1964, 1967
Regular and marginal junior students from four small and one large high school; n = 40 (1964), n = 80 (1968)
Percentages; Athletic participation; rankings individual factors; school
factors; community factors
Marginality of students; school size
Status system of male adolescents (questionnaires)
Social trust; social integration; political interests; political confidence (questionnaires, surveys)
Experiences from participation (semantic differential scales)
Attractions, pressures, and obligations to participate (interviews, questionnaires)
Athletic ability was the dominant criterion of male high school status. Athletic prestige was highest among sophomores with undereducated fathers in small, rural schools.
Students whose values were in agreement with their school were more likely to participate in political activities.
Activities with similar activity/student ratios had similar characteristics whether in large or small schools.
Marginal students in small schools experienced attractions, pressures, and obligations similar to those of regular students. Large school marginal students felt little pressure or need to participate.
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