Information Brief 2013-2

Social Engagement and Extracurricular Activities

A recent study examined the relationship of middle school students’ social engagement and participation in extracurricular activities during high school. Students took ACT Engage® Grades 6–9 in 8th grade and high school outcome data were collected over time.

The results show that middle school students who scored higher on the social engagement scales were more likely to participate in two or more extracurricular activities in high school. In turn, students who participate in two or more extracurricular activities during high school have higher college retention rates.2

Percent of Students Reporting Two or More Extracurricular Activities During High School by Social Engagement Scores

 
Social Engagement ScorePercent Reporting Two or More Extracurricular Activities
01–0939%
10–1944%
20–2943%
30–3946%
40–4951%
50–5958%
60–6965%
70–7967%
80–8971%
90–9980%

Notes: Based on N=1,635 students. The social engagement measure used in this analysis is the mean percentile score across 4 scales: Family Involvement, Family Attitude toward Education, Relationships with School Personnel, and School Safety Climate. Data on extracurricular activities was collected when students registered for the ACT. Activities included instrumental music, vocal music, student government, student publications, debate, drama/theater, religious organizations, racial or ethnic organizations, varsity athletics, political organizations, radio/TV, fraternity/sorority/other social clubs, and school or community service organizations.


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1 For more information on ACT Engage, please see www.act.org/engage.

2 The odds of retention increase by 15–17% for students with two or more extracurricular activities during high school. Estimate is based on logistic regression models that account for ACT score, race/ethnicity, family income, expected degree attainment level, gender, and institution type.


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