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01-06-2015 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 6/2015

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 6/2015

Extracurricular Participation Among Adolescents from Immigrant Families

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 6/2015
Auteurs:
Daisy E. Camacho, Andrew J. Fuligni

Abstract

Participation in organized after-school activities could be especially beneficial for youth from immigrant backgrounds, whose families often have little knowledge of American school systems. The role of extracurricular involvement in the achievement and motivation of students from immigrant families was examined among 468 eleventh grade (52.4 % female) students from Asian American (44.4 %), European American (19.0 %) and Latino (36.5 %) backgrounds who varied in generational status (first: 25 %; second: 52.4 %, third: 22.6 %) and attended high school in the Los Angeles area. Participants completed questionnaires regarding their extracurricular activities, school belonging, and intrinsic motivation. Students’ grade point average (GPA) was obtained from official school records. Controls included parental education, ethnicity, generational status, gender, school, and the outcome variables in tenth grade. First generation students were less likely to participate in academic activities than their third generation peers but, overall, there were few generational differences in participation. Participation predicted achievement and engagement after accounting for tenth grade levels of educational adjustment. Most notably, although all students benefitted from participation, the gain in GPA as a function of participation was greater for first generation than third generation students. Results suggest that organized after-school activities are particularly important for students in immigrant families, providing them with additional experiences that contribute to academic achievement.

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