Extracurricular activities encompass a broad range of organized activities that fall outside the regular curriculum and usually occur during the after-school hours. They can be sponsored by either the school or the community, though most of the research has focused on school-based extracurricular contexts. They include diverse contexts such as sports, drama, student government, academic clubs, and service activities. Despite the differences in focus, extracurricular activities share several common features: These activities are (a) generally voluntary, (b) have a regular participation schedule, (c) are supervised by adults, (d) include other participants, (e) involve some structure and rules, and (f) are organized around particular competencies. This entry first discusses extracurricular participation rates, the effects of extracurricular participation, and possible explanations for the benefits youth are thought ...

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