The Educational Returns to Immigrant Youth Participation in After-School Activities

Dina G. Okamoto, University of California, Davis
Cassie Hartzog, University of California, Davis
Daniel Herda, University of California, Davis

Youth participation in organized activities has received attention from scholars and policymakers because of its potential to aid in social, cognitive, and emotional development. Specific benefits of participation in out-of-school extracurricular activities include the reinforcement of pro-social norms, an increase in work ethic and self-esteem, and the development of ties to adults and mentors who provide supervision and guidance. But few studies to date have focused on the extent to which immigrant youth participate in organized activities outside of school. In this paper, we analyze a sample from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) to understand patterns of participation in non-school extracurricular activities across immigrant generations, and the effects of such participation on future educational outcomes. Preliminary results suggest that patterns of participation differ for first and second generation immigrants, and these differences may have an impact on the educational achievement of this rapidly growing segment of the youth population.

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Presented in Session 25: Demography of Educational Attainment