The link between extracurricular activities and academic achievement for youth in grades 5 and 7 /
McLaren Gibbons, Jennifer.
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This study examined the link between involvement in extracurricular activities and academic success for 504 youth in grades 5 and 7, using the first-year survey data from a longitudinal study conducted by Youth Lifestyle Choices-Community University Research Alliance (YLC-CURA). Specifically, the study investigated whether a linear or curvilinear relation existed between extracurricular activities and academic achievement for both in- and out-of-school activities. It was hypothesized that stress may be a possible mediator in the link between extracurricular activities and achievement Results indicated that students in grades 5 and 7 were involved in club and sport activities both inside and outside of school at fairly equal fi-equencies, with a mean frequency of approximately once a month. The hypothesis that a positive relation j between in- and out-of-school extracurricular activities and achievement was supported. The hypothesis that a curvilinear relation would exist between extracurricular activities and achievement was only supported for out-of-school activities. This finding supports the argument that too much or too little involvement in out-of-school activities is related negatively to a student's academic success; however, a moderate amount of involvement appears to be positive. The hypothesis that there would be a relation between involvement in extracurricular activities and stress level for both in-school and out-ofschool activities was not supported. Results were discussed in terms of educational implications and community resources for extracurricular activities.