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Child Dev. 2000 Mar-Apr;71(2):502-16.

School extracurricular activity participation as a moderator in the development of antisocial patterns.

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Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


This research involves a longitudinal study of antecedents and moderators in the development of antisocial patterns. Participants included 695 boys and girls who were interviewed annually from childhood to the end of high school and again at ages 20 and 24. Cluster analyses identified four configurations of boys and girls that were reasonably homogeneous with respect to behavior and academic performance at the beginning of the investigation. When tracked over time, the configurations differed significantly in patterns of early school dropout and criminal arrests. Boys and girls in the "multiple risk configuration" were more likely than those in other configurations to show long-term antisocial patterns. Participation in school extracurricular activities was associated with reduced rates of early dropout and criminal arrest among high-risk boys and girls. The decline in antisocial patterns was dependent on whether the individuals' social network also participated in school extracurricular activities.

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