Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 1697–1711 | Cite as

Organized Activity Involvement among Urban Youth: Understanding Family- and Neighborhood- Level Characteristics as Predictors of Involvement

  • Nicole A. AndersonEmail author
  • Amy M. Bohnert
  • Amy Governale
Empirical Research


Research examining factors that predict youth’s involvement in organized activities is very limited, despite associations with positive outcomes. Using data from 1043 youth (49% female; 46.4% Hispanic, 35.4% African American, 14.0% Caucasian, and 4.2% other) from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, this study examined how characteristics of parents (supervision, warmth) and neighborhoods (perceived neighborhood safety and collective efficacy) predict patterns of adolescents’ involvement in organized activities concurrently (i.e., intensity) and longitudinally (i.e., type and breadth). Parental supervision predicted adolescents’ participation in organized activities across multiple waves. Neighborhood violence was positively associated with concurrent participation in organized activities after controlling for socioeconomic status (SES), whereas higher neighborhood collective efficacy predicted greater breadth in organized activity participation across time. These findings have important implications regarding how to attract and sustain organized activity participation for low-income, urban youth.


Organized activities Parental warmth Supervision Neighborhood collective efficacy Neighborhood violence 



We would like to acknowledge the primary funders of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods: the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the National Institute of Justice. We would also like to acknowledge the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data for providing access to the data.

Author Contributions

N.A.A. conceived of the study, participated in the design of the study, statistical analyses and data interpretation, and drafted the manuscript. A.B. participated in the design of the study, data interpretation, and helped to draft the manuscript. A.G. participated in the literature review for the study and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


There is no funding to report.

Data Sharing Declaration

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the National Archive of Criminal Justice, but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. However, data are available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of the National Archive of Criminal Justice.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Loyola University ChicagoChicagoUSA

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