Extracurricular Activity Involvement and Adolescent Self-Esteem
By Lisa A. Kort-Butler, Ph.D.
The Prevention Researcher,
Volume 19, Number 2, 2012, Pages 13-16, Item# A192-Kort-Butler
Structured extracurricular activity participation has been linked to self-esteem and other indicators of positive youth development. This article describes the theoretical basis for this relationship, centering on extracurricular activities as a location for identity development. A summary of the empirical evidence points to the importance of breadth of participation for self-esteem and related measures of psychological well-being. Consideration is also given to variations by gender, race/ethnicity, and social context. Although the literature points to the relevance of adolescent extracurricular involvement for self-esteem, further research is needed to understand the nuances of this relationship. Additionally, adults should exercise caution about forcing adolescents into activities. Instead, adults and communities should create environments that encourage youth to try new things and provide access to a variety of activities. Within extracurricular activities, there should be support for the factors conducive to building self-esteem and other aspects of positive youth development.
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This article can be found in the issue:
The Prevention Researcher,
Volume 19, Number 2, 2012
Self-esteem tends to drop as youth progress from childhood to adolescence, especially for girls. At the same time, having high self-esteem is associated with a number of positive behaviors and goals, while having low self-esteem is associated with mental health problems and antisocial behavior. In this issue we explore adolescent self-esteem, focusing on avenues for improving self-esteem among youth including extracurricular participation, mentoring, and intervention programs.
This issue also featured these articles:
- A Brief Primer on Self-Esteem, Pages 3-7
- Extracurricular Activity Involvement and Adolescent Self-Esteem, Pages 13-16
- Mentoring Relationships and Adolescent Self-Esteem, Pages 17-20
- The Role of Ethnic Identity on Self-Esteem for Ethnic Minority Youth: A Brief Review, Pages 8-12
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