08-06-2018 | Empirical Research
More Than Just Keeping Busy: The Protective Effects of Organized Activity Participation on Violence and Substance Use Among Urban Youth
Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 10/2018Log in om toegang te krijgen
Violence and substance use disproportionately affect African American youth in urban, disadvantaged communities. Expanding positive peer and adult connections is a mechanism by which organized activity participation may reduce risk of negative outcomes. We assessed if organized activity participation decreases the likelihood of later negative outcomes through expanding positive social connections using a parallel mediation model (Wave 1: N = 681; 50% female; Mage = 14.86 years; SD = 0.65). We found indirect effects from participation to cigarette use (b = −0.04, 95% CI: −0.07, −0.01) and violent behavior (b = −0.04; 95% CI: −0.07, −0.01) through positive peer connections. We did not find indirect effects through positive adult connections. This may be because of the notable influence of peers on negative outcomes during adolescence. Organized activities can help youth expand positive peer connections, which, in turn, reduces risk of later negative outcomes. Implications for prevention are discussed.