Participation in Extracurricular Activities and Development of Personal and Interpersonal Skills in Adolescents
In this study, we analyze self-reported development experience of adolescents involved in various extracurricular activities. We surveyed a large number of students (9th grade) across several regions of the Russian Federation: St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, Tomsk and Tomsk region, and Pskov. The total number of respondents was 3367. The self-assessment of skills and competencies we used a recently developed YES instrument (Hansen, Larson, 2005). We surveyed the students involved into a range of organized, adult-let extracurricular activities (in hobby groups, sports teams and clubs), and analyzed the obtained data using the method of multiple regression. We have established a connection between specific types of activities and the development of specific personal and interpersonal skills: adolescents involved in individual sports and martial arts believe that these activities help them to develop time management skills and goal setting; development of teamwork skills occurs for any sports and performing activities (dance, theater, etc.); these occupations also help them to acquire the social capital. Individual sports and martial arts offer the most favorable setting for development of most of skills and competencies. At the same time, any types of activities (participation in various sports, fine arts, or academic clubs) assist the youth in building their identities. While all types of extracurricular activities have a positive impact on the development of personality and interpersonal skills, each type of activity can be characterized by its own unique profile.