The Relationship between Adolescent Extracurricular Activities and College Persistence: The Role of Self-Efficacy


Durbin, Kay Perry (2021). The Relationship between Adolescent Extracurricular Activities and College Persistence: The Role of Self-Efficacy.


This is a quantitative correlational study of the relationship between adolescent extracurricular activities and college persistence within a theoretical framework of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. The study utilized a sample of 2,300 participants from a 27-year national longitudinal study of adolescent health. The study found a significant positive correlation between 19 of 33 extracurricular activities examined with a significant negative correlation for one extracurricular activity: football. Sample females had the highest participation rate in extracurricular activities associated with college persistence with corresponding higher-degree attainment, tracking national trends in college graduation rates by gender. Males and Blacks and African Americans had the highest participation rates in extracurricular activities not associated with college persistence. The study also found that an increase in college persistence is associated with an increase in the odds of participating in extracurricular activities, considering two mediators for self-efficacy. Study results support the conclusion that self-efficacy is a mediating influence in the relationship between adolescent extracurricular activity participation and college persistence. Therefore, increasing access to extracurricular activities with a significant correlation with college persistence has the potential to increase college graduation rates among underserved students. The study findings have implications for youth development, educational policy, resource funding, and clinical practice for professionals seeking to implement adolescent interventions to increase college participation. Further, this study provides a springboard for additional research into how certain adolescent extracurricular activities may develop self-efficacy for college persistence.




Reference Type


Book Title

School of Behavioral Sciences


Durbin, Kay Perry

Series Author(s)

Burrus, Scott W. M.

Year Published


Volume Number





California Southern University

City of Publication

Ann Arbor

Reference ID