Benefits of getting hooked on sports or the arts: Examining the connectedness of youth who participate in sport and creative arts activities (pp. 169-178)
Authors: Julie M Bower and Annemaree Carroll
Abstract: Involvement in extracurricular activities (ECAs), receiving an award for achievement, or holding a leadership role, have been shown to have positive effects on levels of emotional wellbeing in adolescents. The aim of the present study was to investigate how participants who were involved in ECAs, received awards for achievement, and held leadership positions differed in their awareness of self, family belonging, connectedness to others, mindfulness of the needs of others (social responsibility) and level of participation in risky activities, when compared to their peers who were not involved in ECAs and had not received awards or held leadership positions. Data were gathered using the Contextualised Assessment Tool for Risk and Protection Management (CAT-RPM). Participants were 107 Australian high school students aged 12-17 years. Significant differences were found between those involved in extracurricular activities and those who were not, for self-awareness F(3,103)=3.583, p<.05 and social responsibility F(3,103)=3.802, p<.05. For those who had received an award for achievement, there were significant differences for all scores except Social Responsibility and for those in Leadership roles, significant differences were found for all scores except involvement on risky activities. These findings suggest the importance of participation in ECAs, leadership skills, and recognition of strengths in building self-awareness and social connectedness in youth.