Immediate Influence

Afterschool education and activities

Parent construct: Effective Schools

Participation in afterschool programs provides adolescents with opportunities to develop academic, interpersonal, and other skills that they will need to succeed in life.1 First, participation in afterschool activities improves homework completion, grades, standardized test scores, and school attendance.2 3 4 5 Second, afterschool programming provides adolescents an opportunity to learn social, emotional, and communication skills needed to have successful relationships.6 In fact, students who participate in afterschool activities have more positive relationships with their friends, compared to students who do not participate in after-school activities.7 Third, participation in afterschool activities teaches adolescents teamwork, good sportsmanship, cooperation, problem-solving skills, and conflict-resolution skills.1 Participation in afterschool programming also prevents health-risk behaviors including drug and alcohol use, risky sex, and violence and criminal activity3 as well as pregnancy8 and obesity.9 Finally, adolescents who participate in extracurricular activities in school report fewer mental health concerns than those who do not participate.10

Related Interventions




  1. Fashola, O.S. (1998). Review of extended-day and after-school programs and their effectiveness. Retrieved February 9th, 2010 from techReports/ Report24.pdf.  

  2. Cooper, H., Valentine, J.C., Nye, B., & Lindsay, J. (1999). Relationships between five after-school activities and academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(2), 369-378.  

  3. Eccles, J. S. Templeton, J. Larson, R. (2002). Extracurricular and other after-school activities for youth. Review of Research in Education, 26, 113-180.  

  4. Jordan, W.J., & Nettles, S.M. (2000). How students invest their time outside of school: Effects on school-related outcomes. Social Psychology of Education, 3, 217-243.  

  5. Kane, T. (2004). The impact of after school programs: interpreting the results of four recent evaluations. Working Paper of the William T. Grant Foundation. Retrieved February 9th, 2010 from  

  6. Roth, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000). What do adolescents need for healthy development?: Implications for youth policy. Social Policy Report. Society for Research in Child Development.  

  7. Ream, R. K., & Rumberger, R. W. (2008). Student engagement, peer social capital, and school dropout among Mexican American and non-Latino white students. Sociology of Education, 81(2), 109-139.  

  8. Sabo, D.F., Miller, K.E., Farrell, M.P., Melnick, M.J., & Barnes, G.M. (1999). High school athletic participation, sexual behavior and adolescent pregnancy: a regional study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 25(3), 207-216.  

  9. Whitney, L.E., Cohen, D.A., Koralewicz, L.M., & Taylor, S.N. (2004). After school activities, overweight, and obesity among inner city youth. Journal of Adolescence, 27(2), 181-189.  

  10. Bohnert, A.M., & Garber, J. (2007). Prospective relations between organized activity participation and psychopathology during adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 35, 1021–1033.