Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Getting Involved, Doing Well, Feeling Connected: How Participation in Community Activities Relates to Positive Developmental Outcomes in a Culturally Diverse Sample of Young New Zealanders

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posted on 2023-03-14, 23:27 authored by O’Connor, Seini

Extracurricular activities are important in many young people’s lives, and have been associated with positive academic, psychological, and social outcomes. However, most previous studies have focused only on correlations between participation and outcomes, and few have explored ethno-cultural differences. Using multivariate and propensity score matching techniques to control for selection effects, this study analysed longitudinal data collected from over 1700 young New Zealanders. Results suggest that youth who participated in community-based activities reported higher levels of adjustment (had higher general wellbeing, social support, and life satisfaction) and felt more connected (to communities and schools) than those who did not. Sports participants, young men participating in arts or community activities, and Māori youth participating in a combination of arts or community and sports activities appeared to benefit the most. These findings form an important extension to previous research, and provide a better understanding of the positive impacts of extracurricular activities for youth in Aotearoa / New Zealand.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Crosscultural Psychology

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Jose, Paul; O’Donnell, Cliff