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Associations Between Extracurricular Activity and Self-Regulation: A Longitudinal Study From 5 to 10 Years of Age


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Purpose: Health promotion in youth is likely to benefit from enhancing academic achievement and physical activity. The present study examines how kindergarten childhood self-regulation skills and behaviors predict involvement in both structured and unstructured physical and nonphysical extracurricular activities in the fourth grade. As a second objective this study also investigated how kindergarten childhood participation in extracurricular activities predicts classroom engagement, reflective of self-regulation, by the fourth grade. Design: Secondary analyses were conducted using prospective-longitudinal data. Setting: The Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, Quebec, Canada. Subjects: Participants were randomly selected at birth from a stratified sample of 2694 born in Québec, Canada, between 1997 and 1998. Participants were included if they had complete data on teacher ratings of child self-regulation as measured by classroom engagement and parent ratings of sports participation (n = 935). Measures: Teachers reported self-regulation skills in children through a measure of classroom engagement. Parents provided reports of child participation extracurricular activities. Analysis: Ordinary least-squares regressions were conducted. Results: A higher-frequency kindergarten involvement with structured physical activities was associated with fourth-grade classroom engagement (β = .061, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .017, .104). Better kindergarten classroom engagement predicted more frequent participation in fourth-grade structured physical activities (β = .799, 95% CI: .405, 1.192) and team sports (β = .408, 95% CI: .207, .608). Conclusion: Results suggest mutual relations between physical activity and self-regulation from kindergarten to grade four. This suggests strong learning skills indicative of self-regulation and opportunities to participate in supervised physical activities or sports teams may help children develop healthy dispositions and behaviors in emerging adolescence.
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Physical Activity; Intellectual Health
Associations Between Extracurricular Activity and
Self-Regulation: A Longitudinal Study From 5 to
10 Years of Age
Genevie`ve Piche´, PhD; Caroline Fitzpatrick, PhD; Linda S. Pagani, PhD
Purpose. Health promotion in youth is likely to benefit from enhancing academic achievement and
physical activity. The present study examines how kindergarten childhood self-regulation skills and
behaviors predict involvement in both structured and unstructured physical and nonphysical
extracurricular activities in the fourth grade. As a second objective this study also investigated how
kindergarten childhood participation in extracurricular activities predicts classroom engagement, reflective
of self-regulation, by the fourth grade.
Design. Secondary analyses were conducted using prospective-longitudinal data.
Setting. The Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, Quebec, Canada.
Subjects. Participants were randomly selected at birth from a stratified sample of 2694 born in Que
Canada, between 1997 and 1998. Participants were included if they had complete data on teacher ratings
of child self-regulation as measured by classroom engagement and parent ratings of sports participation (n
Measures. Teachers reported self-regulation skills in children through a measure of classroom
engagement. Parents provided reports of child participation extracurricular activities.
Analysis. Ordinary least-squares regressions were conducted.
Results. A higher-frequency kindergarten involvement with structured physical activities was associated
with fourth-grade classroom engagement (b¼.061, 95% confidence interval [CI]: .017, .104). Better
kindergarten classroom engagement predicted more frequent participation in fourth-grade structured
physical activities (b¼.799, 95% CI: .405, 1.192) and team sports (b¼.408, 95% CI: .207, .608).
Conclusion. Results suggest mutual relations between physical activity and self-regulation from
kindergarten to grade four. This suggests strong learning skills indicative of self-regulation and
opportunities to participate in supervised physical activities or sports teams may help children develop
healthy dispositions and behaviors in emerging adolescence.(Am J Health Promot 2015;30[1]:e32–e40.)
Key Words: Self-Regulation, Sports Participation, Physical Activity, Classroom
Engagement, Extracurricular Activities, Prevention Research. Manuscript format:
research; research purpose: modeling/relationship testing, descriptive; Study
design: nonexperimental (longitudinal); Outcome measure: behavioral; Setting:
national; Health focus: fitness/physical activity, intellectual health; Strategy:
education, skill building/behavior change, policy; Target population age: youth;
Target population circumstances: geographic location
The knowledge, skills, and compe-
tencies children possess when they
begin their academic journey set the
course for their subsequent achieve-
and academic attainment in the
teenage years.
In fact, the process
leading to high school dropout can be
judiciously traced to kindergarten.
Child characteristics in kindergarten
significantly forecast academic attain-
ment by age 22.
In turn, school
dropout determines one’s future con-
tribution to society, as labor force
participants, parents, and health care
Because its determinants
are traceable, the identification of
kindergarten preparedness character-
istics is of utmost importance. Kinder-
garten mathematics and reading
ability, in particular, predict much of
the variance in school achievement.
A self-regulation component reflect-
ing child ability to remain engaged and
show persistence during learning tasks
also predicts achievement, even be-
yond the contribution of IQ.
behaviors, observed in terms of cogni-
tive, emotional, and behavioral di-
`ve Piche
´, PhD, is with the Department of Psychoeducation and Psychology, Universite
´du Que
´bec en Outaouais, Saint-Jerome, Quebec,
Canada, and the Institut Universitaire en Sante
´Mentale de Montre
´al (IUSMM), Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Caroline Fitzpatrick, PhD, is with the
PERFORM Center, Concordia University and with the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Universite
´de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec,
Canada. Linda S. Pagani, PhD, is with the Universite
´de Montre
´al, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Send reprint requests to Genevie`ve Piche´, PhD, Department of Psychoeducation and Psychology, Universite´duQue´bec en Outaouais, 5 rue St-
Joseph, Saint-Jerome, QC, Canada J7Z 0B7;
This manuscript was submitted October 21, 2013; revisions were requested February 7, 2014; the manuscript was accepted for publication May 23, 2014.
Copyright Ó2015 by American Journal of Health Promotion, Inc.
DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.131021-QUAN-537
e32 American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1
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mensions, are likely to represent out-
comes of a high level of inhibitory
control skills, which are involved in
effortful, goal-directed, and self-disci-
plined behavior.
To remain on task
and engaged in the classroom, chil-
dren require good self-regulation
For example, cooperation with
teachers and other students keeping
information online to answer ques-
tions, the ability to inhibit maladaptive
behaviors, and following instructions
all draw upon self-regulation skills.
Moreover, children showing a high
level of physical aggression, impulsivity,
and emotional distress are likely to
present poor self-regulation skills.
One recent approach to support the
development of self-regulation skills
and classroom engagement is the
promotion of extracurricular activities,
especially physical activities, both in
and outside the curriculum.
cates of this proposal indicate that
exercise and physical activities may
improve cognitive skills, including
those related to inhibition and control
of one’s behavior, attention, and emo-
Recent cross-sectional stud-
ies among child samples suggest that
sport and physical activities are posi-
tively associated with IQ, cognitive
skills, and academic achievement.
To explain the link between physical
activity and self-regulation skills, sever-
al pathways have been proposed, in-
cluding that exercise may induce
physiological changes in the brain.
Other authors highlight the impor-
tance of taking into account the high
levels of cognitive demands that many
sporting activities require (i.e., antici-
pating teammates’ behavior, use of
It is hypothesized that the
inhibitory control skills developed
through participation in team sports
and other structured physical activities
may then be transferred to other
contexts of the child’s life such as in
the classroom.
Yet a chicken and egg problem
emerges when studying physical activi-
ty, self-regulation, and cognitive skills.
Results remain unclear, as some re-
search suggests that optimal self-regu-
lation may in turn predict regular
physical activity habits and academic
Children with a
higher level of self-discipline may more
readily meet the challenges associated
with participation in structured sport
and physical activities on a regular
basis. Also, some children may remain
inactive because they lack the necessary
self-regulatory skills.
It is possible that
self-regulation skills and physical activ-
ity have a positive, reciprocal relation,
where one enhances the other. To the
best of our knowledge, no epidemio-
logical longitudinal-prospective study
has addressed these relationships from
kindergarten through to emerging
adolescence in a population-based
sample. Also, none of these studies
have tested the reciprocal effects be-
tween participation in sport and phys-
ical activities and self-regulation skills.
Finally, it is still unclear if both
structured and unstructured sport and
physical activities have the same posi-
tive influence on self-regulation skills.
Most of the literature focuses on the
benefits of physical activity on self-
regulation. However, some studies
suggest that structured extracurricular
activities that are nonathletic in nature,
but cognitively engaging, may also
promote child self-regulation skills.
As a vast number of children
participate and enjoy being involved in
extracurricular activities, such as music
lessons, their potential contribution to
self-regulation also merits investiga-
Using data from the Que´bec Longi-
tudinal Study of Child Development
(QLSCD), the present study investi-
gated prospective reciprocal associa-
tions between child participation in
extracurricular activities and self-regu-
lation skills. More specifically, this
study addressed the two following main
research questions: (1) does participa-
tion in extracurricular activities (phys-
ical and nonphysical activities) in
kindergarten predict fourth-grade self-
regulatory skills, and (2) do kinder-
garten self-regulation skills and behav-
iors (classroom engagement, physical
aggression, impulsivity, and emotional
distress) predict later participation in
structured physical activities and team
sports? These relations were examined
while controlling for preexisting child
and family characteristics such as
baseline physical activity, self-regula-
tion, and cognitive ability.
We postulated that better child self-
regulation skills, assessed through
classroom engagement, would be asso-
ciated with more sports participation
in the fourth grade and that lower
levels of unregulated behaviors, as-
sessed through physical aggression,
impulsivity, and emotional distress,
would be associated with less health-
promoting outcomes. For exploratory
hypotheses, we predicted that neither
structured social activities nor nonath-
letic lessons would be associated with
either fourth-grade outcome. We also
hypothesized developmental continui-
ty between early and later measures of
the same constructs (i.e., physical
activity to physical activity, self-regula-
tion to self-regulation). Finally, pro-
spective long-term association between
kindergarten physical activity and
fourth-grade self-regulation skills were
also expected.
The QLSCD is a public data set
coordinated by the Institut de la
Statistique du Que´bec. Data from the
QLSCD have been used in several
previous studies examining self-regula-
tion and school readiness in relation to
child health promotion and academic
achievement. Furthermore, the
QLSCD has been extensively used for
numerous studies addressing child
development, academic adjustment,
and health more generally.
For a
complete list readers are invited to
consult the following Web site: http://
This sample originates from a ran-
domly selected stratified sample of
2837 infants born between 1997 and
1998 in each public health geographic
area in Quebec, Canada (see Figure).
The population in Quebec, Canada,
consisted of over 7 million individuals
at that time. At the inception of the
study 93 children were deemed ineli-
gible and 172 were untraceable be-
cause of incorrect coordinates. Of the
2572 remaining children, 14 were
unreachable and 438 refused partici-
pation. Of these, 39% were firstborn.
Participants were included in this
institutional review board–approved
study if they had complete data on
teacher ratings of kindergarten class-
room engagement and parent ratings
of sports participation (n ¼935). Boys
and girls were equally represented in
American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1 e33
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the sample (49.2% boys). Predictors
and outcomes were measured at the
end of the kindergarten (at 6 years;
mean ¼74 months) and fourth-grade
school years (at 10 years; mean ¼122
Families, teachers, and school prin-
cipals received informed consent forms
by mail. Teachers and families also
received and returned questionnaires
by mail. From kindergarten onward,
data collection took place in the
spring. Trained research assistants in-
terviewed parents by phone or in
person. Parents were compensated in
the amount of $25 and were informed
that their child would receive a small
gift. Direct assessments were mostly
done at school. When unable to be
evaluated at school, some children
were evaluated at home.
Physical Activity and Team Sports.In
kindergarten, parents indicated, over
the course of the past 12 months, how
often their child had taken part in
structured physical activities such as
dance, gymnastics, martial arts, or
circus arts with a coach or trainer and
structured sports in terms of organized
sports with a coach or instructor. Child
participation was coded as either 0
(almost never or once a month), 1
moderate (once a week or one com-
plete session), or 2 (almost every day,
several times per week, or 2 complete
In kindergarten, parents also indi-
cated how often their child was in-
volved in unstructured physical
activities without a coach or instructor.
Parents made responses using a five-
point continuous Likert scale that
included (1) almost never, (2) once a
month, (3) once a week, (4) several
times a week, (5) every day. Child
participation was coded as either 0
(almost never or once a month), 1
(once a week), or 2 (every day or
several times a week).
When children were in fourth grade,
parents indicated how many sports
teams their child had been a part of
over the course of the previous sum-
mer. Responses ranged from 1 (no
sports) to 7 (six or more team sports).
Parents also indicated how often their
child had engaged in physical activities
or sports with a trainer from 1 (never)
to 7 (5 or more times a week).
Nonphysical Activity. In kindergarten,
parents reported over the course of the
past 12 months, how often their child
had taken part in (1) structured social
activities such as clubs, community, or
religious groups, and (2) structured
nonathletic lessons such as music, art,
or drama. Child participation was
coded as either 0 (almost never or
once a month), 1 moderate (once a
week or one complete session), or 2
(almost every day, several times per
week, or two complete sessions).
Self-Regulation. Consistent with current
theory, we assessed self-regulation in
terms of its cognitive, emotional, and
behavioral dimensions through a mea-
sure of classroom engagement.
dergarten and fourth-grade teachers
each rated child classroom engage-
ment reflecting the extent to which the
child demonstrated the following 11
items pertaining to student work ori-
entation, compliance, and persistence
in the classroom: works cooperatively
with other children, follows directions,
follows rules, follows instructions,
completes work on time, works inde-
pendently, listens attentively, works
neatly and carefully, puts a lot of effort
into work, participates in class, and ask
questions when he/she does not un-
Flow Chart of Participants From the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child
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Kindergarten items were
rated on a Likert scale with response
options 1 (never), 2 (sometimes), and
3 (always). Fourth-grade items were
rated on a Likert scale with response
options including 1 (never), 2 (rarely),
3 (sometimes), 4 (often), and 5 (al-
ways). Scale reliability was high at both
assessments: a¼.94 for the grade four
and kindergarten measures of class-
room engagement.
In order to verify if other measures
of child self-regulation in kindergarten
also predicted later outcomes, parent
and teacher ratings of three behavioral
measures of self-regulation were in-
cluded in the analyses: child impulsiv-
ity, physical aggression, and emotional
distress. Parents and teachers provided
ratings of child impulsivity (could not
sit still, was restless and hyperactive;
had trouble sticking to any activity;
could not stop fidgeting; was impulsive,
acted without thinking; had difficulty
waiting for his or her turn; could not
settle down to do anything for more
than a few moments; was easily dis-
tracted; was inattentive; and was unable
to concentrate, could not pay attention
for long, a¼.91); physical aggression
(hit, bit, or kicked other children; got
into fights with another child; and
physically attacked people, a¼.85
);and emotional distress (seems un-
happy or sad, is not as happy as other
children, has no energy, is feeling
tired, cries a lot, has trouble enjoying
himself or herself, and is unable to
make decisions, a¼.79) using the
Social Behaviors Questionnaire.
computed composite scores converted
on a scale from 0 to 10 from teacher
and parent evaluations to provide a
more robust assessment of children’s
behavioral characteristics.
Control Variables. Family and child
preexisting and baseline characteristics
that could possibly confound the rela-
tionship between our predictors and
outcomes were also measured (see
Table 1). Family controls included
parent reports of maternal education
(finishing high school ¼1 and not ¼0)
measured when children were 5
months old; family configuration (al-
ways intact ¼1 or not ¼0) derived from
the 5-, 17-, and 29-month assessments;
and a continuous indicator of family
functioning. Family functioning scores
represent the mean of scores from the
5- and 17-month assessments (i.e.,
‘‘planning family activities is difficult
because we misunderstand each other’’
or ‘‘we avoid discussing our fears or
concerns’’) where lower levels of the
variables are associated with less family
functioning problems.
When chil-
dren were in kindergarten, trained
examiners provided direct assessment
of cognitive ability using the Lollipop
; body mass index
; and motor
ability in terms of locomotion and
object control using the Test of Gross
Motor Development.
Data Analytic Procedures
We estimated three ordinary least-
squares regressions. In a first equation,
we regressed fourth-grade measures of
sports participation on kindergarten
classroom engagement and sports par-
ticipation. In a second equation, we
regressed fourth-grade measures of
team sport participation on kindergar-
ten predictors. In a third equation, we
regressed fourth-grade classroom en-
gagement skills on kindergarten pre-
dictors. In order to account for
possible omitted variable bias, we
included preexisting and concurrent
individual and family characteristics,
which are likely to explain the rela-
tionship between our independent and
dependent variables. In the present
analyses, variables were entered simul-
taneously in a single step (see Table 2).
This study required a substantial
amount of data from several sources
and ages. An attrition analysis com-
paring the retained cases at kindergar-
ten (N ¼935) and the nonretained (N
¼1185) cases from the original sample
(n ¼2120) at 5 months on demo-
graphic variables revealed that chil-
dren in the retained sample reported
less family functioning problems (x¼
1.45. vs. 1.60, t[2106] ¼2.63, p,.01),
had more educated mothers (x¼.83
vs. .78, t[2113] ¼3.06, p,.01), and
were more likely to come from intact
families (x¼.23 vs. .29, t[2116] ¼3.02,
At the fourth-grade follow-up, 60.4%
of participants had complete data
across outcomes, 24.4% were missing
data on 1 outcome, and 12.6% were
missing data on more than 2 outcome
variables. A second attrition analysis
compared participants with complete
data on grade four outcomes with
participants with at least one missing
outcome. Participants with complete
outcome data experienced more family
functioning problems (x¼1.33 vs. 1.65,
t[932] ¼4.04, p,.001), were less likely
to come from a single-parent family, (x
¼.19 vs. .30, t[932] ¼3.85, p,.001),
were more likely to have a mother with
Table 1
Descriptive Statistics for the Study Variables
Variables Minimum–Maximum Mean (SD)
Dependent variables (fourth grade)
1. Classroom engagement 1–5 3.93 (0.64)
2. Team sports 1–7 2.69 (1.88)
3. Structured physical activity 0–2 2.07 (1.40)
Independent variables (kindergarten)
1. Classroom engagement 1–3 2.69 (0.37)
2. Physical aggression 0–9 1.28 (1.66)
3. Impulsivity 0–9 3.02 (1.86)
4. Emotional distress 0–6 1.92 (1.14)
Extracurricular activity
5. Structured sports 0–2 0.72 (0.82)
6. Structured physical activity 0–2 0.50 (0.71)
7. Unstructured physical activity 0–2 1.45 (0.79)
8. Structured social activity 0–2 0.05 (0.25)
9. Structured lessons 0–2 0.13 (0.39)
American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1 e35
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a high school diploma (x¼.89 vs. .73,
t[933] ¼6.46, p,.001), displayed less
impulsivity and emotional distress at
kindergarten entry (x¼2.88 vs. 3.24,
t[933] ¼2.93, p,.01 and x¼1.81 vs.
2.10, t(933] ¼3.87, p,.001, respec-
tively), and scored higher on kinder-
garten cognitive ability (x¼58.36 vs.
56.44, t[933] ¼4.02, p,.001).
We imputed missing data on the
outcome measures and control vari-
ables using the NORM multiple impu-
tation program.
This program uses
an iterative approach based on an
expectation-maximization algorithm to
impute missing data from available and
valid observations in the original data
set. This technique is considered an
exemplary method for treating missing
The average kindergarten classroom
engagement score for the entire sam-
ple was 2.68 (SD ¼.37). Girls scored
higher on classroom engagement than
boys (x¼2.76 vs. 2.59, t[964] ¼6.89, p
,.001). Children from single-parent
families and children with mothers
who did not have a high school
diploma scored lower on classroom
engagement (x¼2.56 vs. 2.71, t[660] ¼
4.84, p,.001 and x¼2.62 vs. 2.70,
t[664] ¼2.44, p,.001, respectively).
The means for sports and other phys-
ical activities were .72 (SD ¼.82) and
.50 (SD ¼.71) respectively.
Fourth-Grade Classroom Engagement
A one-unit increase in kindergarten
classroom engagement scores predict-
ed fourth-grade increments in class-
room engagement (unstandardized b
¼.412, 95% confidence interval [CI]:
.287, .537). Unit increases in kinder-
garten physical aggression and impul-
sivity were each associated with
decreases in later classroom engage-
ment scores (unstandardized b¼
.029, 95% CI: .053, .006, and
unstandardized b¼.050, 95% CI:
.075, .024) respectively. Emotional
distress was unrelated to fourth-grade
classroom engagement.
Children more involved in struc-
tured sports in kindergarten had
higher classroom engagement scores
(unstandardized b¼.061, 95% CI:
.017, .104). Participation in other types
of physical activities or other extracur-
ricular activities was not significantly
associated with later classroom en-
Fourth-Grade Structured Physical
Activity and Team Sports
Children more involved in struc-
tured sports during kindergarten par-
ticipated in more weekly sessions of
structured physical activities (unstan-
dardized b¼.528, 95% CI: .392, .664)
and were involved in more team sports
(unstandardized b¼.160, 95% CI:
.090, .229) in fourth grade. Participa-
tion in structured physical activities
(such as dance or gymnastics) was also
related to later weekly participation in
structured physical activities (unstan-
dardized b¼.259, 95% CI: .106, .411).
Unstructured physical activity, as other
nonphysical activities, was unrelated
with later structured physical activity or
sports (see Table 3).
A one-unit increase in kindergarten
classroom engagement scores predict-
ed fourth-grade weekly sessions of
structured physical activities (unstan-
dardized b¼.799, 95% CI: .405, 1.192)
and participation in team sports (un-
standardized b¼.408, 95% CI: .207,
.608). Increments on physical aggres-
sion were also associated with more
team sport involvement (unstandard-
ized b¼.110, 95% CI: .073, .148). Both
impulsivity and emotional distress were
unrelated to later health-promoting
As expected, the present findings
suggest a reciprocal positive association
between self-regulation skills and
Table 2
Bivariate Correlations Between Dependent and Independent Variables†
1. Classroom engagement 0.078* 0.163*** 0.508*** 0.341*** 0.464*** 0.225*** 0.136*** 0.166*** 0.01 0.038 0.063
2. Team sports 0.331*** 0.114*** 0.174*** 0.010 0.047 0.238*** 0.009 0.021 0.041 0.037
3. Structured PA 0.188*** 0.013 0.079* 0.116*** 0.327*** 0.166*** 0.008 0.023 0.073*
Predictors (kindergarten)
4. Classroom engagement 0.384*** 0.663*** 0.332*** 0.119*** 0.114*** 0.041 0.038 0.079*
5. Physical aggression 0.481*** 0.195*** 0.012 0.135*** 0.021 0.004 0.047
6. Impulsivity 0.352*** 0.017 0.083* 0.013 0.03 0.056
7. Emotional distress 0.060 0.104** 0.055 0.002 0.062
8. Structured sports 0.153*** 0.038 0.025 0.058
9. Structured PA 0.036 0.063 0.091**
10. Unstructured PA 0.003 0.057
11. Structured SA 0.007
12. Structured lessons
† PA indicates physical activity; and SA, social activity.
** p,0.01.
*** p,0.001.
e36 American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1
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structured physical activity. This find-
ing was found above and beyond
controlling for preexisting characteris-
tics such as baseline physical activity
and cognitive abilities. There are no
longitudinal-prospective studies, to the
best of our knowledge, that have
investigated this possible bidirectional
influence, especially among a repre-
sentative population-based sample of
children. Furthermore, none of these
studies has verified the unique and
independent influence of various types
of extracurricular physical activities
(structured, unstructured sports) and
nonphysical activities (e.g., music les-
sons) on self-regulation skills in chil-
First, our findings highlight the
contribution of structured sports for
later self-regulation skills. Cross-sec-
tional research has produced similar
findings with a sample of adoles-
In interpreting these results,
it may appear as though the structured
or supervised nature of the physical
activities rather than their athletic
orientation was the source of influence
in this association. However, the pre-
sent study did not support this hy-
pothesis because participation in
structured nonathletic activities (e.g.,
music lessons, religious activities) did
not have a similar effect on the later
outcomes. Results suggest that early
participation in sports facilitate the
development of self-regulation skills
such as effortful, goal-directed, and
self-disciplined behavior. Children in-
volved in team sports, in particular,
may develop a unique sense of be-
longing to their group of peers and
coaches. Being part of a special group
that has a common goal of thriving to
win may heighten the importance of
respecting the rules and keeping re-
sponsibilities. Also, as postulated earli-
er, the complex cognitive demands
placed on children involved in team
sports may promote acquisition of
highly regulated behaviors and emo-
tions, which then transfers to other
Second, kindergarten child self-
regulation, as reported by classroom
engagement, was related to later
structured physical activity and sports
participation. Children who were bet-
ter able to follow instructions and
remain focused in the classroom were
involved in more structured physical
activity by the fourth grade even after
taking into account their baseline
physical activity. Our findings are
consistent with two theoretical mod-
els, social cognitive theory
and the-
ory of planned behavior,
predict physical activity level and
other health promoting–related be-
haviors. Prior research has shown a
positive association between self-regu-
latory skills and later health-related
behaviors like physical activity and
sports participation.
Thus, chil-
dren who are better able to self-
regulate and master their own behav-
ior may be more likely to develop and
sustain inclinations towards exercising
during the transition from childhood
to adolescence. The emotional and
behavioral components of child self-
regulation were also measured
through physical aggression, impul-
sivity, and emotional distress. These
variables were unrelated to later
physical activity or team sports, with
the exception of physical aggression.
Children showing higher levels of
physical aggression were found to be
more involved in fourth-grade team
sports than less aggressive children.
Team sports are competitive and
sometimes involve aggressive behav-
iors. As such, it is possible that a
benefits team sports participation.
Third, as hypothesized, the more
children engage in structured and
Table 3
Unstandardized Regression Coefficients Reflecting the Relationship Between Kindergarten and Fourth-Grade Measures of
Self-Regulation, Physical Activity, and Team Sports†
Independent and Control Variables
Classroom Engagement
Structured Physical Activity
Team Sports
Independent variables (kindergarten)
1. Classroom engagement 0.412 (0.287, 0.537)*** 0.799 (0.405, 1.192)*** 0.408 (0.207, 0.608)***
2. Physical aggression 0.029 (0.053, 0.006)* ns 0.110 (0.073, 0.148)***
3. Impulsivity 0.050 (0.075, 0.024)*** ns ns
4. Emotional distress ns ns ns
Extracurricular activity
5. Structured sports 0.061 (0.017, 0.104)** 0.528 (0.392, 0.664)*** 0.160 (0.090, 0.229)***
6. Structured physical activity ns 0.259 (0.106, 0.411)** ns
7. Unstructured physical activity ns ns ns
8. Structured social activity ns ns ns
9. Structured lessons ns ns ns
Adjusted R
0.367 0.152 0.170
† Regression models control for child sex, body mass index, locomotion, object control, cognitive ability, family configuration, maternal education, and
family functioning. Upper and lower bound estimates of the 95% confidence intervals are presented in parentheses. ns indicates not significant.
** p,0.01.
*** p,0.001.
American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1 e37
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supervised physical activities in kinder-
garten, the more they seem to main-
tain these pursuits 4 years later. This
finding converges with previous studies
that have highlighted the relative long-
term stability of healthy lifestyle choic-
It is possible that parents are
responsible for their children’s partic-
ipation in physical activities in kinder-
garten. Parents who value physical
activity may be more likely to enroll
their child into structured sports and
transmit such values to their child.
Nevertheless, the significant associa-
tion between kindergarten and fourth-
grade participation in sport-related
activities suggests either that parents
remain influential or that children are
actively involved in the parent’s deci-
sion to register them for sports at age
10. It is worth noting that our results
remained significant after controlling
for family and socioeconomic factors
likely to influence participation in
after-school activities, such as maternal
education, family functioning, and
family configuration. Our results sug-
gest that early involvement in struc-
tured sporting activities, regardless of
the motivation, forecasts later involve-
ment in sports. Also, participation in
unstructured sports, structured social
activities, or nonathletic lessons (e.g.,
music, art or drama) did not predict
structured sports or participation in
team sports. Only those children en-
gaged in structured physical activities
and team sports on a regular basis were
likely to pursue their involvement 4
years later.
Fourth, we found developmental
continuity between first- and fourth-
grade self-regulation skills and behav-
iors. Children who are highly engaged
in their classroom at the beginning of
their school trajectory seem to main-
tain their engagement 3 years later.
Also, a higher level of impulsivity and
physical aggression, both examples of
unregulated behaviors in childhood
years, were inversely related to later
classroom engagement. These findings
are consistent with past research
showing developmental continuity in
attention and inhibitory control across
Our results remained
significant even after controlling for
early child factors likely to influence
self-regulation skills such as cognitive
ability. These findings suggest the
importance of intervening early to
boost cognitive and executive function
ability to promote classroom engage-
ment and school achievement, as well
as prevent the incidence of behavioral
problems (e.g., externalizing disor-
ders) in children.
Three limitations merit discussion.
First, the correlational design of this
study prevents us from inferring cau-
sality. Nonetheless, the use of a longi-
tudinal design also allows us to
determine the temporal precedence of
our independent variables. To reduce
the possibility of third variable bias, we
have included baseline measures of
physical activity and self-regulation. In
order to prospectively control for ad-
ditional confounding factors, our
analyses also took into account child
psychosocial skills and cognitive ability,
and family characteristics linked to
socioeconomic status. Second, selective
attrition also represents a limit, inher-
ent to most longitudinal designs.
However, in order to reduce the influ-
ence of selection bias on our results, we
performed multiple imputations. This
technique is considered an exemplary
method for treating missing data given
that it provides a realistic estimate of
standard error terms.
Third, the coefficients in the present
study range from small to moderate.
Nonetheless, from a cumulative risk
perspective, even relatively small effects
remain important when high-stake
public health outcomes such as self-
regulation and school engagement are
the object of investigation.
Practical Implications
In North America, obesity preva-
lence rates and sedentariness are
growing among youth, contributing to
a wide range of lifetime health risks. In
the long term, physical inactivity is
related to decreased productivity and
In turn, the eco-
nomic burden of physical inactivity in
Canada in 2009 was estimated at $6.8
School disengagement and
dropout are also major concerns in
occidental societies as they predict a
wide range of social, health, and
economic consequences. Results of the
present study suggest that kindergar-
ten self-regulation and sports partici-
pation may represent valuable
intervention targets given their inde-
pendent contribution to optimal child
functioning in the fourth grade. Inter-
vention strategies to promote both of
those important aspects of child de-
velopment in day care settings, schools,
and communities should be developed
and encouraged.
First, it seems important to promote
the development of early child regula-
tory characteristics to help children
develop classroom engagement. Stud-
ies have shown that some educational
enrichment programs can enhance
self-regulation in 4- to 5-year-olds
and promote academic success.
particular, experimental evaluations
strongly suggest the effectiveness of
Tools of the Mind and the Montessori
preschool program toward improving
child executive functions, participation
in learning, and academic achieve-
ment. Also, the importance of positive,
supportive. and autonomy-promoting
parent-child relationships in the de-
velopment of child self-regulation skills
has been recently underlined.
In this
context, universal programs targeting
such positive parenting skills (i.e.,
Triple P
) may be an interesting
resource to help children develop self-
regulation. Our results suggest that
such programs may indirectly, in the
long run, also help to promote physical
activity in children.
Second, it may be advantageous for
schools to offer a variety of extracur-
ricular structured physical activities
and sports teams for their pupils, even
as early as school entry. Also, it is
suggested that they target children at
higher risk of sedentariness and those
presenting behavioral problems, who
may benefit more from participating in
these sporting activities. Third, com-
munities constitute a unique setting
for promoting recreational physical
and educational enrichment activities.
As a result, initiatives to increase public
access to parks and playgrounds should
be encouraged in order to allow
children and their families to engage
in team sports (i.e., basketball, base-
ball). Fourth, it is suggested that the
results of this study be used by policy
makers, to help promote (1) active
schools and communities and (2) the
access to preschool or school educa-
tional enrichment programs that target
self-regulation skills.
e38 American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1
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This research was funded by the Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council of Canada held by Dr. L.
Pagani. The authors report no conflict of interest.
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SO WHAT? Implications for
Health Promotion Practitioners
and Researchers
What is already known on this topic?
Child physical inactivity and school
dropout are costly for individuals and
society, because they forecast later
adult well-being, health, and pro-
What does this article add?
Our findings suggest that promot-
ing active behaviors may help im-
prove population patterns of
sedentariness and academic disen-
What are the implications for health
promotion practice or research?
The present study can inform
school policy and public health. Our
results suggest it may be advanta-
geous for schools to (1) target
children at higher risk of sedentari-
ness or low sports participation and
(2) increase the number of possible
structured physical activities and
sports offered to children. Also,
communities constitute a unique
setting for promoting recreational
physical and educational enrichment
activities. As a result it is important
that policies support these initiatives
in order to ensure that all families
have access to structured physical
American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1 e39
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e40 American Journal of Health Promotion September/October 2015, Vol. 30, No. 1
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... Regular participation in physical activity may improve child behavior in the classroom over the long term. In fact, regular participation in leisure-time kindergarten physical activity with a coach or instructor forecasts achievement at sixth and fourth grade (Gonzalez-Sicilia et al., 2019;Piché et al., 2015). Early participation in physical activity, including sport, may facilitate the development of socioemotional, motivational, and effortful child behavior (Lubans et al., 2016). ...
... We found that, compared to boys who rarely took part in extracurricular sport, boys who showed more consistent engagement in sport were better at playing and working cooperatively, following rules and directions, and demonstrating selfcontrol and self-confidence in the classroom. One plausible mechanism to explain this result would be that boys learn a lot and develop various skills in structured physical activity contexts, skills that can then be transferred in a classroom setting (Felfe et al., 2016;Holt et al., 2017;Lubans et al., 2016;Piché et al., 2015). Listening to your coach, playing cooperatively with your peers, having a good team spirit, being disciplined, and controlling your emotions are all skills that are put into practice in a sporting context. ...
Full-text available
Past research suggests that the relationship between health and schooling is axiomatic. Physical activity, including sport participation, putatively facilitates school performance. However, the direction of this link lacks clarity. We examine the mutual links between sport and classroom engagement in 452 boys and 514 girls from ages 6 to 12 years. Participants are from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, a prospective-longitudinal birth cohort. First, trajectories of classroom engagement from ages 6 to 10 years, assessed by teachers, were generated using latent class analysis. Second, analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) compared leisure time physical activity, self-reported by children at age 12 years, across trajectories of classroom engagement. Third, ANCOVAs compared classroom engagement, measured by teachers at age 12 years, across trajectories of extracurricular sport between ages 6 to 10 years. We identified two classroom engagement trajectories: ‘High’ (77%) and ‘Moderate’ (23%). For girls, being in the ‘High’ trajectory predicted significantly higher levels of physical activity (F(1, 966) = 5.21, p < .05). For boys, being in the ‘Consistent participation’ extracurricular sport trajectory predicted significantly higher levels of classroom engagement (F(1, 966) = 6.29, p < .05). Our analyses controlled for pre-existing individual and family factors. Our findings suggest that sport participation and engaged classroom behavior positively influence each other during childhood. They support the pertinence of investing financial resources in youth intervention so that children can develop their potential both in sporting contexts and in the classroom to foster optimal growth and development.
... Several studies have demonstrated a positive linkage between EA participation during the early childhood years and later academic and social-emotional outcomes in elementary school (Covay & Carbonaro, 2010;Dumais, 2006;Piché et al., 2015). Specific to preschool-aged children, EA participation among this age group has received relatively little scholarly attention. ...
... Another possible explanation is that the benefits of a particular EA could be transferred from the targeted skill domain to other spheres of development and/or generic abilities that are beneficial for learning in general. For instance, EA participation has been linked to approaches to learning (Covay & Carbonaro, 2010) and engagement in learning (Piché et al., 2015), which are both domaingeneral skills that can benefit math performance (e.g., Li-Grining et al., 2010;Robinson & Mueller, 2014). In qualitative research with older children, parents expressed the belief that EAs could facilitate broad skills such as concentration, which might improve children's academic performance (Kremer-Sadlik et al., 2010). ...
Organized extracurricular activities (EAs) constitute an important part of many young children's lives. However, the role of EAs in children's development during early childhood is poorly understood. The current study examined the associations between EA participation and a range of school readiness outcomes in a sample of 345 urban Chinese preschoolers. Using three waves of data collected on EA participation and applying growth mixture modeling, we discovered two distinct trajectory classes with respect to the breadth of EA participation as well as two classes for EA attendance intensity. With a series of covariates controlled for, children's greater initial levels of or rates of increase in EA breadth were related to better early math skills. Greater probabilities of belonging to the higher-intensity class were also associated with better early math skills in children. However, EA participation did not predict other aspects of children's school readiness, including Chinese reading, receptive vocabulary, expressive language, social skills, and problem behaviors. This study extends existing EA literature, which has primarily focused on school-aged populations in Western contexts, by demonstrating substantial individual variations in Chinese preschoolers' trajectories of EA participation. Our findings suggest that EAs seem to have little unique contribution to children's school readiness except for early math skills.
... Sejalan dengan berbagai hasil penelitian yang disebutkan di atas, diketahui juga bahwa dalam ekstrakurikuler juga terdapat nilai yang dimaksudkan untuk meningkatkan kemampuan peserta didik, hal ini juga menjadi salah satu upaya yang diinginkan dalam mengungkapkannya dalam penelitian ini, karena berbagai hasil penelitian juga mengisyaratkan bahwa ekstrakurikuler selain berfugsi untuk menguatkan ketercapaian intrakurikuler juga untuk memberikan nilai dalam pengembangan diri peserta didik (Fitzpatrick & Pagani, 2015), (Suleiman et al., 2019), (Ivaniushina & Zapletina, 2015). ...
Pengembangan diri dan kemampuan peserta didik dapat ditempuh melalui berbagai kegiatan, baik yang bersifat intrakurikuler maupun ekstrakurikuler. Penelitian ini berusaha untuk menemukan nilai-nilai karakter yang terdapat pada ekstrakurikuler serta pengembangan diri seperti apa yang dapat ditemukan dalam kegiatan yang bersifat ekstrakurikulum. Untuk ketercapaian tujuan yang dimaksud, penelitian ini menggunakan metode kualitatif deskriptif, adapun metode pengumpulan data ialah penulis menggunakan observasi, wawancara serta studi dokumentasi. Berdasarkan hasil analisis yang dilakukan terhadap data penelitian diketahui bahwa beberapa bentuk iternalisasi nilai-nilai karakter yang terdapat dalam program ekstrakurikuler ialah dapat dilihat dari nnilai karakter yang terdapat pada kegiatan tahfizd, nasyid, rebana, sanggar kaligrafi, dan program babalik ka surau. Selain adanya nilai-nilai karakter, pada kegiatan ekstrakurikuler juga terdapat upaya pengembangan diri yang membina keterampilan siswa untuk kehidupan mereka di masyarakat serta organisasi.
... Therefore, we are inclined to believe that the physical fitness and the executive functions are linked bi-directionally. This has been supported by empirical data from our study and other research (Piché et al., 2012(Piché et al., , 2015Howard et al., 2018). This seems to be consistent with the cultural-historical perspective. ...
Full-text available
Considering the current agreement on the significance of executive functions, there is growing interest in determining factors that contribute to the development of these skills, especially during the preschool period. Although multiple studies have been focusing on links between physical activity, physical fitness and executive functions, this topic was more investigated in schoolchildren and adults than in preschoolers. The aim of the current study was to identify different levels of physical fitness among pre-schoolers, followed by an analysis of differences in their executive functions. Participants were 261 5–6-years old children. Inhibitory control and working memory were positively linked with physical fitness. Cognitive flexibility was not associated with physical fitness. The research findings are considered from neuropsychological grounds, Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, and the cultural-historical approach.
... While speculative, excessive involvement with extracurricular activities (three or more activities in the present sample) may contribute to these and additional factors, such as fatigue and burnout, which, in turn may adversely impact performance on FCF measures. Nevertheless, participation in arts is associated with improvement in a range of cognitive domains (Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1993;Schellenberg, 2004;Winsler, Gara, Alegrado, Castro, & Tavassolie, 2019), whereas participation in physical activities and organized, supervised sports has been associated with increased self-regulation, inhibition, and problem solving (Jacobson & Matthaeus, 2014;Pich e, Fitzpatrick, & Pagani, 2015). In this sample, involvement with extracurricular activities was positively associated with measures of SES, including family income and caregiver education. ...
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This study used a machine learning framework in conjunction with a large battery of measures from 9,718 school‐age children (ages 9–11) from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM (ABCD) Study to identify factors associated with fluid cognitive functioning (FCF), or the capacity to learn, solve problems, and adapt to novel situations. The identified algorithm explained 14.74% of the variance in FCF, replicating previously reported socioeconomic and mental health contributors to FCF, and adding novel and potentially modifiable contributors, including extracurricular involvement, screen media activity, and sleep duration. Pragmatic interventions targeting these contributors may enhance cognitive performance and protect against their negative impact on FCF in children.
This study aims to obtain an understanding of the student management at the Saint Aloysius school dormitory in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The research applied a case study research method. It mainly involves the participation of four caretaker team members and ten students. The obtained data were collected through techniques, such as interviews, observations and document analysis. The research study involves the application of three concurrent data analysis techniques. The research led to the knowledge and the understanding that despite the dormitory’s geographical location and its small size, the caretakers at the involved school dormitory make an effort to provide most of the services and tasks required for an effective student management.Generally, the student management implemented at this specific school dormitory involves the establishment of different tasks and services. Important factors, including staff supervision and training, the establishment of the formal program, also need to be considered by the caretakers. Caretakers still need to make some effort to improve management services.
Aims This scoping review sought to identify and characterize measurement of self-regulation in preschool and elementary aged children. Methods The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses-Scoping Review (ScR) guidelines were applied. Databases from the fields of allied health, education, medicine, and social sciences were searched including: CINAHL, Education Database (ProQuest), Education Research Complete, EMBASE, ERIC, iNFORMIT Combined, Medline, PsychINFO, Social Sciences (ProQuest), Teacher Reference Center, and Web of Science. Articles published between 2015 and 2020 were included. Dual review was utilized at all stages and a third reviewer resolved any conflicts. Results Sixty-seven studies were included in this review. A range of observational, self-report, teacher report, caregiver report, and observational measures of self-regulation were identified. Included studies were primarily published in education and psychology disciplines, with no studies by occupational therapists identified. Conclusions Although a range of measures were identified in this scoping review, the results highlight the lack of consensus regarding self-regulation measurement that occupational therapists use to design and implement therapy programs to address child emotional and behavioral needs.
Child disruptive behavior refers to ongoing patterns of disorganized, uncooperative, and defiant behavior. Sport involvement promotes positive child development. However, few longitudinal studies have tested the association between organized sport participation and the behavioral components of disruptive behavior. First, we aim to examine the link between inattentive, hyperactive, aggressive, and oppositional behavior at age 4 years and trajectories of organized sport participation from ages 6 to 10 years. Then, we compare children, according to trajectory membership, on outcome differences on these same behaviors at age 12 years. Data are from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (N = 1492). Child behavior was assessed by questionnaires completed by mothers at age 4 years and teachers at age 12 year. Preschool child inattention as perceived by mothers, significantly reduced the odds of middle childhood organized sport participation by 7% (95% CI = 1.00–1.15). Low or inconsistent participation in organized sport was subsequently associated with increased inattention (d = 0.28) by the end of sixth grade. These findings are above and beyond individual and family characteristics and baseline behavior. No other associations were statistically significant. Inattentive children who participated less in organized sport showed a greater likelihood toward increases in attention deficit by the end of sixth grade. To improve engagement from these children, coaches and trainers should use strategies that support positive experiences such as developing a one-to-one alliance with the child, favoring social cooperation through team spirit, and focusing on the performance experience rather than the outcome of winning or losing.
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The objective of this study was to examine the association of scholastic performance with physical activity and fitness of children. To do so, school ratings of scholastic ability on a five-point scale for a nationally representative sample of 7,961 Australian schoolchildren aged 7-15 years were compared with physical activity and fitness measurements. Consistently across age and sex groups, the ratings were significantly correlated with questionnaire measures of physical activity and with performance on the 1.6-kilometer run, sit-ups and push-ups challenges, 50-meter sprint, and standing long jump. There were no significant associations for physical work capacity at a heart rate of 170 (PWC170). The results are concordant with the hypothesis that physical activity enhances academic performance, but the cross-sectional nature of the observations limits causal inference, and the disparity for PWC170 gives reason to question whether the associations were due to measurement bias or residual confounding.
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Research dealing with various aspects of* the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1987) is reviewed, and some unresolved issues are discussed. In broad terms, the theory is found to be well supported by empirical evidence. Intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be predicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; and these intentions, together with perceptions of behavioral control, account for considerable variance in actual behavior. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are shown to be related to appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about the behavior, but the exact nature of these relations is still uncertain. Expectancy— value formulations are found to be only partly successful in dealing with these relations. Optimal rescaling of expectancy and value measures is offered as a means of dealing with measurement limitations. Finally, inclusion of past behavior in the prediction equation is shown to provide a means of testing the theory*s sufficiency, another issue that remains unresolved. The limited available evidence concerning this question shows that the theory is predicting behavior quite well in comparison to the ceiling imposed by behavioral reliability.
In recent years, multiple imputation has emerged as a convenient and flexible paradigm for analysing data with missing values. Essential features of multiple imputation are reviewed, with answers to frequently asked questions about using the method in practice.
IntroductionAn Applied Example of Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MAV1)One-Way Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MAV1)The Four Multivariate Signifi cance TestsSummary and Conclusions Study QuestionsReferences
Good education predicts good health, and disparities in health and in educational achievement are closely linked. Despite these connections, public health professionals rarely make reducing the number of students who drop out of school a priority, although nearly one-third of all students in the United States and half of black, Latino, and American Indian students do not graduate from high school on time. In this article, we summarize knowledge on the health benefits of high school graduation and discuss the pathways by which graduating from high school contributes to good health. We examine strategies for reducing school dropout rates with a focus on interventions that improve school completion rates by improving students' health. Finally, we recommend actions health professionals can take to reframe the school dropout rate as a public health issue and to improve school completion rates in the United States.
This review considers a variety of perspectives on overweight and obesity (OW/obesity), including measurement and classification; prevalence and changes in prevalence in recent years; genetic, biological, medical, individual, and social correlates of OW/obesity; and treatment approaches. Despite increased attention, OW/obesity is escalating in prevalence worldwide, and the causes are exceedingly complex. A range of innovative studies, including basic research on gut microflora, dietary composition, pharmacologic interventions, and surgical procedures, is generating findings with potential for future prevention and treatment of OW/obesity. Social system changes such as school programs and the awareness of the roles of personal, family, health provider, and cultural experiences related to OW/obesity have also gained traction for vital prevention and treatment efforts over the past decade.
We examined the potential benefits and risks associated with participation in five types of activities: prosocial (church and volunteer activities), team sports, school involvement, performing arts, and academic clubs. Our sample included 1,259 mostly European American adolescents (approximately equal numbers of males and females). First, we explore the link between involvement in these activities and our indicators of positive and negative development. Involvement in prosocial activities was linked to positive educational trajectories and low rates of involvement in risky behaviors. In contrast, participation in team sports was linked to positive educational trajectories and to high rates of involvement in one risky behavior, drinking alcohol. Then, we explore two possible mediators of these associations: peer associations and activity-based identity formation. The evidence supported our hypothesis that group differences in peer associations and activity-based identities help explain activity group differences.