Gender Variation in Extracurricular Activity Participation and Perceived Life Chances in Trinidad and Tobago Adolescents
Mello, Zena R.; University of California
Worrell, Frank C.; University of California
Participation in extracurricular activities has surfaced as an important context for adolescent development and may be a fruitful avenue for fostering future attitudes, a concept shown to predict adolescent behaviors. In this study of youth from Trinidad and Tobago, we examined gender differences in activity participation and perceived life chances in 1,385 adolescents (59% male). Trinidadian adolescents were highly active, on average, participating in three activities. Moremales were involved in athletic and organized groups, whereas more females participated in artistic and religious activities. Artistic and athletic activity participation predicted positive perceived life chances, even after controlling for academic achievement. Artistic activities were especially beneficial for predicting future attitudes for males compared to females.