Involvement in extracurricular activities provides youth with opportunities to develop important personal skills, abilities, and preferences, as well as to engage in meaningful social support networks. However, deaf students have historically faced reduced access to extracurricular opportunities. In this study, the authors assessed the influence of extracurricular involvement on postsecondary outcomes for deaf people through a secondary analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2. Results showed that participation in extracurricular activities predicted independent living status after high school and that participation in more than one activity predicted postsecondary enrollment. These results indicate that participation in extracurricular activities during high school has long-term benefits for deaf students.
Summary of Schoffstall et al., “The Impact of High School Extracurricular Involvement on Postsecondary Outcomes Among Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Youth”¹
Why was this work done?
Involvement in extracurricular activities provides youth with opportunities to develop important personal skills, abilities, and preferences, as well as engage in meaningful social support networks.
Deaf students have historically faced reduced access to opportunities for both academic and occupational development, including extracurricular participation.
Previous research on the role of extracurricular activities has explored how athletic participation is an important part of school, community, and cultural life for deaf students, though the impact of involvement in athletics and other extracurricular activities on postsecondary outcomes for deaf youth has yet to be examined.
How was this work done?
Researchers conducted a secondary analysis from a large-scale dataset, the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2 (NLTS2).
Authors used statistical analyses to assess the effects of extracurricular involvement on postsecondary outcomes, including education, employment, independent living, and self-beliefs.
The study includes a sample of approximately 1,000 deaf youth, ages 14 to 18.
What did researchers find?
Involvement in extracurricular activities positively predicted independent living status after high school for deaf students.
Deaf students who were involved in more than one extracurricular activity were more likely to have higher postsecondary attendance rates than those who were involved in only one extracurricular activity.
What do these results mean?
The results suggest that participation in extracurricular activities during high school benefits deaf students later in life.
Participation in a wide range of extracurricular activities exposes youth to new experiences and peers and provides opportunities to develop important social and emotional competencies.
Important life skills such as time management, decision-making skills, self-advocacy, self-determination, social skills, and social navigation are all examples of life skills that deaf youth may develop over the course of their participation in extracurricular activities.
¹Schoffstall, S., Cawthon, S., Dickson, D., Bond, M., Ocuto, O., & Ge, J. (2016). The impact of high school extracurricular involvement on postsecondary outcomes among deaf and hard-of-hearing youth. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 29(2), 179–197.