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New Dir Child Adolesc Dev. 2013 Summer;2013(140):57-75. doi: 10.1002/cad.20037.

Regrouping: organized activity involvement and social adjustment across the transition to high school.

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Loyola University Chicago, USA.


Although organized activities (OAs) have been established as important contexts of development, limited work has examined the role of OAs across the high school transition in buffering adolescents' social adjustment by providing opportunities for visibility and peer affiliation. The transition to high school is characterized by numerous changes and OAs may provide an important setting for establishing and maintaining peer relationships during this tumultuous time. This study included 151 8th grade U.S. students (58% male) who were assessed across the transition to high school (spring of 8th and 9th grade). Continuous involvement in academic activities across the transition and becoming involved (i.e., initiation) in community/service activities following the transition was associated with fewer depressive symptoms in the spring of 9th grade. Continuous involvement in sports and initiation of academic activities was associated with having more friendships. In addition, links between OAs and loneliness were only evident among females. There appear to be significant social benefits for OA involvement.

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