The majority of research on out-of-school-time activity participation has focused on its relation to academic and social development, presumed to be consequences of participation, rather than on antecedents or predictors of participation. Understanding who participates in these programs can assist program directors in improving and sustaining youth involvement. This chapter uses data from two research study samples to examine differences in children's activity participation based on family social ecology and child gender and how the relations between participation and outcomes vary based on sample, gender, and activity type. Although children in both samples were of roughly the same age and were assessed for similar outcomes, their family incomes, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and neighborhoods were very different. Findings suggest that participation in activities varies depending on the young person's social ecology, age, and gender. Furthermore, participation in activities was typically associated with positive youth outcomes, but these relations varied depending on the level of youth participation, type of activity, and social ecology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas