Differing profiles of developmental experiences across types of organized youth activities

Reed W. Larson, David M. Hansen, Giovanni Moneta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This study inventoried the types of developmental and negative experiences that youth encounter in different categories of extracurricular and community-based organized activities. A representative sample of 2,280 11th graders from 19 diverse high schools responded to a computer-administered protocol. Youth in faith-based activities reported higher rates of experiences related to identity, emotional regulation, and interpersonal development in comparison with other activities. Sports and arts programs stood out as providing more experiences related to development of initiative, although sports were also related to high stress. Service activities were associated with experiences related to development of teamwork, positive relationships, and social capital. Youth reported all of these positive developmental experiences to occur significantly more often in youth programs than during school classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-863
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Adolescence
  • Experiences
  • Organized activities
  • Organized youth activities
  • Positive development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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