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Extracurricular Participation

Simonian, J. (1981, December). The Relationship of Extracurricular Participation on the Attitudes and Behaviors of Urban High School Students Concerning Alcohol Use and Abuse. Dissertation Abstracts International, 42(6a), 2517.

This issue has been studied in depth in the area of behavioral science, most often on the collegiate level. This study was one of the first on the high school level.


Multivariate and Univariate Analysis of Variance, coupled with Newman-Keules Tests of Paired Comparisons and Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficients, determined the relationship of extracurricular participation/nonparticipation on alcohol usage attitudes of 1273 urban high school students.


Results indicate that participants in both athletic and nonathletic extracurricular activities drink less per occasion and less frequently, have more temperate attitudes toward alcohol use, are less tolerant of irresponsible drinking, and spend less money on alcoholic beverages than to nonparticipants. Differences were reported between seniors and sophomores, with seniors drinking more frequently. Males have a more temperate attitude toward drinking than do females. Athletes and those who do not participate in any extracurricular activities drink more frequently than those who participate in both athletic and non-athletic extracurricular activities.


These attitudinal and demographic statistics show support in a positive direction for the relationship between the adolescents constructive use of leisure time and their attitude toward alcohol usage. This study advocates an increase in the development of both athletic and nonathletic extracurricular programs. It also supports identifying changing patterns of adolescent attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol use. Finally, it encourages seeking reasons for any attitudinal or behavioral change.


  1. This study illustrates the importance of offering teens constructive ways to spend their leisure time.
  2. Encourage teens to participate in athletic and nonathletic opportunities. This may help sway their attitudes away from drinking.
  3. Although this study scopes an urban setting, the principles are consistent for all kids. When individuals help kids build constructive lives, the kids become less interested in the routines to which they can fall prey when bored. Youth workers need to help adolescents find and sharpen their talents, so that they may become the individual that they are meant to be.
Rob Zarges and Anne Montague cCYS