Amplifiers of developmental and negative experiences in organized activities: Dosage, motivation, lead roles, and adult-youth ratios

David M. Hansen, Reed W. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study evaluated four sets of factors hypothesized to amplify adolescents' developmental and negative experience in organized youth activities. A representative sample of 1,822 eleventh grade students from 19 high schools completed the computer-administered Youth Experience Survey. Findings indicated that amount of time, motivation, holding a lead role, and the ratio of adults-to-youth were independently related to students' reports of developmental experience in an organized activity. These variables accounted for substantially more variance (23%) in reported developmental experiences than type of activity (3%); and they had only modest relationships with youths' negative experiences (2% of total variance). The findings suggest that developmental benefits of programs might be higher if youth were motivated by enjoyment and had lead roles more often. Further, they raise an important policy issue regarding how to make best use of staff to maximize developmental benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-374
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Development
  • Extracurricular
  • Organized youth activities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Amplifiers of developmental and negative experiences in organized activities: Dosage, motivation, lead roles, and adult-youth ratios'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this