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ERIC Number: ED384097
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Extracurricular Participation and Student Engagement. Education Policy Issues: Statistical Perspectives.
O'Brien, Eileen; Rollefson, Mary
Almost every high school in the United States offers some type of extracurricular activity. This document examines the relationship between extracurricular participation and student engagement in school using data from 1992 public high school seniors in the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS). It also explores whether the availability of these activities varies according to school characteristics, and whether participation differs according to student background and school setting. Although it is not known if the relationship between participation in extracurricular activities and success in school is causal, the data show a strong association between extracurricular participation and each of the following success indicators--better attendance, higher academic achievement, and aspirations to higher levels of education. The data also indicate that differences in participation were not related to differences in availability, as extracurricular activities were available to virtually all high school seniors regardless of affluence, size, location, or minority status of schools. However, students of low socioeconomic status (SES) participated less than did their high-SES classmates. Despite the gap, however, low-SES students participated at fairly high levels and persisted in their participation regardless of the relative affluence of the schools they attended. Three tables are included. It is suggested that further study of the individual constraints of poverty and family background and the influence of school community on student engagement would be valuable. (LMI)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.