In Hong Kong's competitive society, most children take part in extracurricular activities (ECAs) before or after school. Early childhood lays the foundation for development of intelligence, personality, social behaviour and learning capacity, and ECAs can, therefore, be expected to enrich a child's learning experience. But there has been relatively little research on the effects of extracurricular participation on young children. This study examines the relations between extracurricular participation and young children's school readiness and psychosocial outcomes in a Chinese cultural context. Sixty-four Hong Kong upper kindergarten class children (aged five years and two months to six years and ten months old), their mothers and class teachers participated in a quantitative study where parent, teacher and child reports were collected. The results showed that children's extracurricular participation was positively associated with better school readiness and social competence and negatively associated with a child's liking of ECAs. The level of extracurricular participation was defined as the number of ECAs a child has been participating in during the month that the study was conducted. This was a pioneering study that found maternal involvement moderated the association between the number of ECAs and a child's school readiness and cognitive competence. In general, children from family with low maternal involvement were more likely to benefit from their participation in a higher number of ECAs. The results from this study will inform educators, parents and policymakers and are intended to inspire further research exploring ECAs and early childhood. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
CitationChiu, C. Y., & Lau, E. Y. H. (2018). Extracurricular participation and young children's outcomes in Hong Kong: Maternal involvement as a moderator. Children and Youth Services Review, 88, 476-485. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.03.051
- Extracurricular activities
- Extracurricular participation
- Children's perceptions
- Maternal involvement
- PG student publication