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Adolescent Overscheduling: The Relationship Between Levels of Participation in Scheduled Activities and Self-Reported Clinical Symptomology

From: The High School Journal
Volume 90, Number 3, February-March 2007
pp. 18-30 | 10.1353/hsj.2007.0011


The past 20 to 30 years has seen an increase in the time children and adolescents spend in structured activities outside of the regular school day. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of free time children and youth have for leisure time activities. While much discussion has been given to this topic in the popular press, little systematic research has been conducted addressing this issue. The purpose of this study was to identify whether there is a relationship between the number of regularly scheduled activities in which adolescents are involved, the amount of time adolescents spend participating in these activities, and self-reports of anxiety, depression, and physical complaints. Results indicated that the greater the amount of time students reported participating in activities both at the time of the study and for the entire year, the higher their self-reported level of anxiety tended to be. Similar results were not observed for depression or somatization.

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