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Kaitlyn A. Ferris, Benjamin Oosterhoff, &Aaron Metzger, Ph.D. Abstract Method Background Life-Span Developmental Psychology - West Virginia University.

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Presentation on theme: "Kaitlyn A. Ferris, Benjamin Oosterhoff, &Aaron Metzger, Ph.D. Abstract Method Background Life-Span Developmental Psychology - West Virginia University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kaitlyn A. Ferris, Benjamin Oosterhoff, &Aaron Metzger, Ph.D. Abstract Method Background Life-Span Developmental Psychology - West Virginia University Contact For a dolescents, participation in organized community, school, and religious activities has been associated with a host of positive developmental outcomes (Eccles et al., 2003; Metzger et al., 2009), but less research has examined organized activity involvement among rural youth. The current study examines associations between school, religious and community involvement, and problem behavior for youth living both inside and outside of a rural town (population = 7,000). After controlling for parental education and teen age, religious involvement was associated with lower levels of delinquency across genders and location, as well as higher GPA’s for boys, but not girls. For boys living outside of town, 4-H involvement was associated with more minor delinquency while school clubs was associated with less major delinquency. For boys living inside rural towns, school clubs was associated with higher academic performance. Findings highlight the importance of context when examining the impact organized activities have on rural youth. Organized Activity Involvement and Problem Behavior Among Rural Youth: The Importance of Activity Type and Context Study Question Results Discussion Participants 462 adolescents from a rural Appalachian community. Residence location: 66% of adolescents reported living in town. On average, participants lived 7 miles from the center of town (M = 7.05, SD = 7.63). Mean age = 15.25, SD = % girls Students reported their parents’ highest level of education: In analyses, SES = mean of mother/father education level. Measures Organized activity involvement: Adolescents reported how often they engaged in organized activities in an average month from 1 (Never) to 5 (Very Often) (α’s = ): 1. School Sports (1 item) 2. Community Sports (1 item) 3. School Clubs (3 items) 4. Community Clubs (3 items) 5. Religious Activities (3 items) 6. 4H Sponsored Activities 7. Volunteering (4 items) Delinquency and Illicit Substance Use: Adolescents reported how often they engaged in three categories of problem behavior in the past 30 days from 1 (Never) to 4 (Often): 1. Minor Delinquent Behavior (4 items; α =.68) e.g. skipping school, getting in fights 2. Major Delinquent Acts (4 items; α =.62) e.g. physical assault, property destruction 3. Illicit Substance Use (5 items; α =.83) e.g. illegal drug and alcohol use Do the associations between organized activity involvement and delinquency vary as a function of rural context? Are these associations moderated by adolescent gender? School clubs and religious involvement are associated with less delinquency and higher GPA. Associations were moderated by location and gender. Consistent with previous research (King et al., 1997 ), religious activity involvement was associated with decreased engagement in delinquency for rural youth, particularly adolescents living outside of town. This study reaffirms the importance of school-affiliated extracurricular activities, especially for rural adolescent boys. Results from the current study contribute to the adolescent organized activity literature by: Emphasizing heterogeneity in the organized activity experiences of rural youth. Highlighting the importance of different types of rural context for youth organized activity involvement. References: Astroth, K. A., & Haynes, G. W. (2002). More than cows & camp; cooking: Newest research shows the impact of 4-H youth development. Journal of Extension, 40(4). Eccles, J.S., & Barber, B.L. (1999). Student council, volunteering, basketball, or marching band: What kind of extracurricular involvement matters? Journal of Adolescent Research, 14(1), Eccles, J.S., Barber, B.L., Stone, M., & Hunt, J. (2003). Extracurricular activities and adolescent development. Journal of Social Issues, 59(4), Feldman, A. F., & Matjasko, J. L. (2005). The role of school-based extracurricular activities in adolescent development: A comprehensive review and future directions. Review of Educational Research, 75, Feldman-Farb, A., & Matjasko, J.L. (2011). Recent advances in research on school-based extracurricular activities and adolescent development. Developmental Review, King, V., Elder, G.H., & Whitbeck, L.B. (1997). Religious involvement among rural youth: An ecological and life-course perspective. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 7(4), Metzger, A., Crean, H.F., & Forbes-Jones, E.L. (2009). Patterns of organized activity participation in urban, early adolescents: Associations with academic achievement, problem behaviors and perceived adult support. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 29(3), Table 1 The association between involvement in organized activities and minor and major delinquency Inside town = red Outside town = blue Minor DelinquencyMajor Delinquency R 2* F ChangeBetaR 2* F ChangeBeta Step * *.373 SES-.14* **.04 Age Step * Religious Activities * * 4-H ** School sports Community Sports School clubs * Community clubs Volunteering Gender Step * * 4H X Gender * - School Clubs X Gender * Results Regression analyses controlling for parental education and teen age indicated associations between activity involvement, problem behaviors, and GPA differed for youth living inside and outside of town. Involvement with school clubs was associated with less major delinquent behavior for boys living outside of town (B = -.12, SE =.05, p =.02) …but higher academic performance for boys living in town (B =.49, SE =.14, p <.001). Adolescents who participate in organized community, school, and religious activities engage in less delinquent behavior, use fewer illicit substances, and earn higher grades in school (Eccles et al., 2003; Metzger et al., 2009). Varies as a function of gender (e.g. Eccles et al., 2003) Specific organized activities are associated with positive and negative developmental outcomes. For instance: Sports/athletics has been linked with increased alcohol consumption (Eccles & Barber, 1999). Involvement with religious groups has been associated with increased pro-social behavior (for review, see Feldman & Matjasko, 2005; Feldman-Farb & Matjasko 2011). Due to limited access and activities unique to rural settings, involvement may be particularly important for rural youth (Astroth & Haynes, 2002). Variability within rural context: Religious involvement in farm youth vs. non-farm youth (King, Elder, and Whitbeck, 1997). Research has yet to examine how other forms of rural context, such as living inside versus outside of a rural town, impact the association between organized activity involvement and delinquency. Note. R 2* = adjusted R; Beta’s are from the final step of the regression; Non- significant 2-way interactions from the final model were excluded from the table; p <.05; ** p <.01; + p = ;


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