Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) – Out-of-School Time-Use During Middle Childhood in a Low-Income Sample: Do Combinations of Activities Affect Achievement and Behaviour?

July 2004


This paper uses Self-Sufficiency Project (SSP) data to examine the effects of out-of-school activities on low-income children in middle childhood. Participation in all of the structured activities considered (sports, lessons, and clubs) is consistently significantly associated with small benefits for children. Those who participated in structured activities achieved better results than those who did not, when evaluated on the basis of a math test and parental reports of academic achievement and social behaviour. In particular, the paper suggests that sports participation should be encouraged but finds no evidence that participation in clubs alone assists middle childhood achievement or behaviour.