Mediational Pathways between High School Extracurricular Participation and Young Adult Educational Attainment: A Structural Equation Analysis
Description: Little is known about the mechanisms by which extracurricular participation in high school influences educational attainment in young adulthood. Also limited is an understanding of the different types of extracurricular participation and how various activities may manifest within the relationship. The purpose of this study was to examine the link between high school extracurricular participation and educational attainment, with social capital, parental expectations, and academic achievement presented as mediators. Additionally, the present study will explore socioeconomic differences in the proposed relationships. The sample consisted of 5,239 ninth through twelfth graders from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Structural equation modeling (SEM) and multiple-group SEM were used to test pathways. Extracurricular participation was categorized into sports participation, non-sport participation, mixed participation (including both sport and non-sport), and no participation. Social capital, a latent factor, was measured by the latent variables of family and school capital. Various indicators of family closeness and inclusion of school culture from survey items operationalize social capital. Parental expectations, another latent factor, was measured by one survey indicator using the question of how disappointed would your resident father and mother be if you did not graduate from college. Academic achievement was measured by grade point average and calculated by the average of self-reported grades in four subjects: English, math, social studies, and science. Educational level attained used seven levels ranging from less than 8th grade to beyond a Bachelor degree. Gender, race, and parent education were also included as covariates. Social capital, parental expectations, and high school academic achievement were all shown to be mediators between high school extracurricular participation and educational attainment. However, social capital's impact on educational attainment was indirect through GPA rather than direct. Sport showed better capacity to strengthen social capital than non-sport. However, non-sport participants achieved higher high school ...
Date: December 2017
Creator: Long, Roxanne