How students invest their time outside of school: Effects on school-related outcomes

Will J. Jordan, Saundra Murray Nettles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to examine the degree to which various kinds of out-of-school activities adolescents participate in influence their school engagement, achievement, and perceptions of their life chances. The conceptual framework outlined by the authors suggests personal investments students make outside of school in meaningful, structured activities and with the help and guidance of adults serving as role models have significant effects on various educational outcomes. To that end, the authors found some evidence suggesting that student participation in structured activities and religious activities and time spent interacting with adults during tenth grade appear to have positive and significant effects on various educational outcomes by Grade 12. Conversely, time spent hanging out with peers was consistently negatively associated with educational outcomes in the study, with few exceptions. The effects of time spent working for pay and time spent alone were somewhat inconsistent throughout the analysis but this may be due to methodological problems within the measures. The result of the analysis has implications for after-school and summer school policies and programs. The authors discuss these implications and suggest further study of the effects of school context, family influence, and the availability of community resources on students' personal investments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-243
Number of pages27
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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