What adolescents learn in organized youth activities: A survey of self-reported developmental experiences

David M. Hansen, Reed W. Larson, Jodi B. Dworkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

429 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research inventoried adolescents' reports on different developmental and negative experiences in organized youth activities, including extracurricular and community-based activities. High school students' experiences were assessed using a newly developed instrument, the Youth Experiences Survey (YES). These youth reported higher rates of learning experiences in youth activities than in 2 other major contexts of their lives. Youth activities were associated with experiences related to initiative, identity exploration and reflection, emotional learning, developing teamwork skills, and forming ties with community members. The findings also suggest that different youth activities offer distinct patterns of learning experiences. Service, faith-based, community, and vocational activities were reported to be frequent contexts for experiences related to identity, prosocial norms, and links to adults. Sports were a frequent context for those related to identity work and emotional development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-55
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

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