Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Organized activities (OA) are a major context of adolescent development which are linked with positive development outcomes, yet the research is limited in understanding predictors of involvement and mechanisms that explain its effect. Using longitudinal data from a subsample of youth enrolled in the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (N = 1,043), this study examined relations between neighborhood characteristics (i.e., perceived neighborhood safety and neighborhood collective efficacy) and parent characteristics (i.e., parental supervision and parental warmth) and participation in organized activities (OA) at multiple points in adolescence, and whether these relations varied by age and sex. This study also explored whether community violence exposure (victimization and witnessing) and peer characteristics (positive characteristics and deviancy) in middle adolescence mediated the relation between OA involvement in early adolescence and developmental outcomes in later adolescence (e.g., internalizing and externalizing symptoms, delinquency, substance use, and self-efficacy), and whether this varied by sex and SES. Findings indicated that parental supervision significantly predicted participation in OA across multiple waves. Some significant neighborhood effects also emerged. Community violence witnessing significantly mediated the link between OA and developmental outcomes. These findings have important implications for program developers, those working with urban youth, and for the larger organized activity literature.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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