Exploring the roles of extracurricular activity quantity and quality in the educational resilience of vulnerable adolescents: Variable- and pattern-centered approaches

Stephen C. Peck, Robert W. Roeser, Nicole Zarrett, Jacquelynne S. Eccles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

89 Scopus citations


This longitudinal study examines how extracurricular activity involvement contributes to "educational resilience" - the unexpected educational attainments of adolescents who are otherwise vulnerable to curtailed school success due to personal- and social-level risks. Educationally vulnerable youth characterized by significant risks and an absence of assets were identified during early adolescence (approximately age 14) using measures of academic motivation, achievement, and mental health as well as family, school, and peer contexts. Using a mixture of variable- and pattern-centered analytic techniques, we investigate how both the total amount time that vulnerable youth spent in positive extracurricular activities and the specific pattern of their extracurricular activity involvement during late adolescence (approximately age 17) predict their subsequent enrollment in college during early adulthood (up through approximately age 21). Educational resilience was predicted uniquely by some, but not all, activity patterns. These results suggest that positive extracurricular activity settings afford vulnerable youth developmentally appropriate experiences that promote educational persistence and healthy development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-156
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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