After-School Activities and the Development of Low-Income Urban Children

J.K. Posner
January 1, 1999

This article looks at after-school activities of low-income children from 3rd to 5th grade to determine links to social adjustment; the researchers’ ecological perspective proposes that children’s development is influenced by activities in different contexts, and that activities in one context influence activities and behaviors in other contexts. Girls were found to be more likely to engage in academic activities and socializing, where boys were more likely to participate in organized sports. Children who participated in after-school programs spent more time on academic and extracurricular activities compared to their counterparts in informal care, who spent more time watching TV and hanging out. Time spent in activities between 3rd and 5th grade was related to positive adjustment in 5th grade.