A Study of the Impacts of Student Participation in Extracurricular Activities and Perceived Academic Achievement
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The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a relationship between participation in extracurricular activities (ECAs) and academic achievement. The sample consisted of sixth and seventh grade students from a middle school in a rural county located in Southwest Virginia. The school has an enrollment of 221 students and 49.3% of students were classified as economically disadvantaged. The participating students completed a survey and answered if they participated in ECAs, specifically focusing on athletics, academic clubs, and fine arts clubs. Students were then asked how happy they were at school and how confident they felt with their math and English coursework. Data were analyzed using independent-samples t-tests and showed significant differences between students who participated in athletics and their greater confidence in math coursework (p=.005), as well as their overall happiness at school (p=.003). Results also showed significant differences for students who were members of academic clubs and their confidence in math coursework (p=.001). The results did not indicate significant differences of any particular ECA and student confidence in English work.