New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Although organized activities (OAs) have been established as important contexts of development, limited work has examined the role of OAs across the high school transition in buffering adolescents' social adjustment by providing opportunities for visibility and peer affiliation. The transition to high school is characterized by numerous changes and OAs may provide an important setting for establishing and maintaining peer relationships during this tumultuous time. This study included 151 8th grade U.S. students (58% male) who were assessed across the transition to high school (spring of 8th and 9th grade). Continuous involvement in academic activities across the transition and becoming involved (i.e., initiation) in community/service activities following the transition was associated with fewer depressive symptoms in the spring of 9th grade. Continuous involvement in sports and initiation of academic activities was associated with having more friendships. In addition, links between OAs and loneliness were only evident among females. There appear to be significant social benefits for OA involvement.
Bohnert, A. M., Wargo Aikins, J., & Arola, N. T. (2013). Regrouping: Organized activity involvement and social adjustment across the transition to high school. In J. A. Fredricks & S. D. Simpkins (Eds.), Organized Out-of-School Activities: Settings for Peer Relationships. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 140, 57–75.
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