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Participation and Engagement

Until recently, the majority of studies of the outcomes of participation in organized-out-of-school settings, such as extracurricular activities, after-school programs, and community-based programs, have compared participants and nonparticipants using a dichotomous measure (yes/no). This measurement strategy treats participation as an “all or nothing” variable and fails to capture important differences in the amount, nature, and quality of this participation. This entry describes distinct indicators of organized activity involvement that move beyond dichotomous measures of participation to include intensity, breadth, duration, and engagement. The first three indicators reflect the quantity of involvement in organized out-of-school settings. (1) Intensity captures the frequency of involvement during one program year; (2) breadth depicts the range of involvement in different types of organized activities; and (3) duration describes the ...

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