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COMM AS401: Introduction To Applied Research

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In the drop box, submit your work in proper APA format containing:
1.The hypothesis

2.Identify the dependent and independent variable.

3.Show how your hypothesis links to a social theory.



Null Hypothesis: students who participate in extracurricular activities perform better in class.

Alternative hypothesis: Students who do not participate in extracurricular activities perform better in studies.


Independent variable

Participating in extracurricular activities is the independent variable. The action is not influenced by another activity thus independent. It is also known the explanatory variable.

Dependent variable

Students’ studies performance is the dependent variable. Performance is influenced by participation in extracurricular activities. It is also known as the response variable

Students that engage in extracurricular activities perform better in studies than those who do not.

It is the general assumption that students’ participation in extracurricular activities help to reduce the number of student dropouts as they keep students interested in school. However, there also exists the general notion that student’s engagement in extracurricular activities adversely affect their performance. Competing schedules and commitment requirements is thought make them mutually incompatible. Interestingly, previous studies show that participation in extracurricular activities actually improve the students’ performance in their studies.

Extracurricular activities are any structured activities beyond class curriculum. There are two types of these activities. Pro-social activities such as sport teams, dance and arts and intra-school activities such as debates, symposiums, academic clubs and leadership. Some of the benefits associated with participation in extracurricular activities include better GPA , high standardized test results, regular school attendance, more confidence in students, better teamwork ,a higher sense if discipline and  better time management (Logan and Scarborough 2008). Decrease in substance abuse has been also associated with extracurricular activities participation.

Durkheim in functionalism theory, may suggest that the reason for better academic performance of students that engage  in extracurricular activities is because they have more social support than those who students that do not .  Positive young adult development research (Gardener et al, 2008) suggest establishing positive relationships with individual and institutions fosters healthy development. Functionalism theory suggest that society is a system of interdependent parts, thus students need social relationships for optimal functionality. Students that participate in structured activities are more likely to develop healthy social relationships than those do not. Sports activities involve learning to work together thus developing communication, team play, confidence and compassion among students. This equips the students with productive skills and creates a healthy environment that favors better academic performance.


According to Coulangeon (2018) participation in extracurricular directly affects students’ performance in their studies. Coulangeon also argued that structured behavior results to reduction in engagement in risky behavior and felony. Durkheim famous suicide studies linked suicide rates to degree of social integration of and regulation. Students that participate in extracurricular activities enjoy healthy social relationships while learning society-values through interactions (Fredricks and Simpkins, 2011). Tight schedules maintained as they juggle through studies and extracurricular activities ensure that students are constructively busy.

In addition many schools use extracurricular activities as a tool to motivate students to work harder in studies. Minimum academic performance requirements to take part in extracurricular activities are used to incentivize studying. Too much engagement in extracurricular activities may however stress the student and adversely affect their performance in class. Students, parents and teachers should therefore be actively involved to ensure the optimal level of engagement in structured activities for the students’ academic benefit.



Coulangeon, P. (2018). The Impact of Participation in Extracurricular Activities on School Achievement of French Middle School Students: Human Capital and Cultural Capital Revisited. Social Forces, 97(1), 55-90. doi: 10.1093/sf/soy016

Fredricks, J., & Simpkins, S. (2011). Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Organized After-School Activities: Taking a Closer Look at Participation of Ethnic Minority Youth. Child Development Perspectives, 6(3), 280-287. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-8606.2011.00206.x

Gardner, M., Roth, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2008). Adolescents' participation in organized activities and developmental success 2 and 8 years after high school: Do sponsorship, duration, and intensity matter?. Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 814-830. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.3.814

Logan, W., & Scarborough, J. (2008). Connections Through Clubs: Collaboration and Coordination of a Schoolwide Program. Professional School Counseling, 12(2), 157-161. doi: 10.5330/psc.n.2010-12.157

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