The relation between extracurricular activities with academic and social competencies in school age children: a meta-analysis



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas A&M University


There has been a growing discussion in the fields of education and psychology about the relationship between social skill proficiency and academic excellence. However, the presence of extracurricular involvement as promoting both academic and social development has not been thoroughly explored. The most recent literature syntheses and meta-analyses on extracurricular activity participation were conducted in the 1980??s. An updated review and quantitative look at the participation literature is due. The purpose of this study is to integrate participation studies from the 1990s and give summative information as to the impact of extracurricular activity participation on various educational and psycho-social characteristics. Of the 164 identified studies, 41 were included in these meta-analyses. The current analyses produced 6 different activity categories: general extracurricular activity, sports, work and vocational activities, performing arts, pro-social activities, and community-based activities. The current meta-analyses suggest student outcomes were significantly related to general extracurricular activity and pro-social activity participation. General activities and pro-social activities had the most impact on academic achievement, while performing arts and pro-social activities?? participants reported the largest effect on identity and self esteem related outcomes. Sports and related activities (i.e. Cheerleading) were not as strongly linked to academic achievement indicators as anticipated and student workers had more negative outcomes than any other activity participants. In conclusion, the best outcomes for children and adolescents are brought about through well-built, developmentally appropriate structured activities. Moreover, the academic and social profits of extracurricular activities that have been examined in this study can be used to inform program planning and implementation.