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ERIC Number: ED360373
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
The Motivational Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Adolescent Development: Cultivating Undivided Attention.
Rathunde, Kevin
Activities that engaged the full attention of adolescents at school were explored using the Experience Sampling Method, in which subjects were interrupted by a pager to record their experience at the moment the pager signaled. Two variables indicating optimal subjective experience and undivided attention were operationalized: interest and flow experience. The data were from a longitudinal study of 200 teenagers talented in mathematics, science, music, athletics, and/or arts. Results show that extracurriculars are the most likely school activities to engage teenagers fully; they combined feelings of spontaneous involvement with a focus on important goals, and perceptions of high skill with correspondingly high challenges. In contrast, the two most common school activities--productive work and socializing--disjoined and polarized these important dimensions of experience. Findings are discussed in terms of the important role extracurricular activities may play in cultivating habits of undivided attention in adolescents, and the current trend in public education to eliminate such after-school programs. One table and two figures illustrate the study findings. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A