Reasons for the “after-school pressure cooker” in Affluent Communities: It’s Not How Much Time, but Why

Edin T. Randall*, Lea V. Travers, Jenna B. Shapiro, Amy M. Bohnert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This study extends the over-scheduling hypothesis literature by focusing on affluent adolescents and exploring relations between psychosocial adjustment and reasons for organized activity (OA) involvement rather than focusing solely on time spent in OAs. Variable- and person-centered analyses were used to evaluate associations between intensity of OA participation and reasons for involvement, perceived parental pressure, and adjustment (depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, life satisfaction) in a sample of 10th graders (N = 122) from affluent communities. When adolescents’ perceptions of parental pressure were controlled for in analyses, more intensely involved youth reported lower levels of depressive symptoms. “For Fun” was the most highly rated reason for involvement and was linked to lower levels of perceived parental pressure, but was unrelated to all indicators of adjustment. Conversely, involvement in OAs “for Parents” was linked to more perceived parental pressure and lower levels of life satisfaction. Two OA participant profiles emerged in person-centered analyses: (1) primarily intrinsic reasons (high Fun, moderate Future, low Parents) and (2) intrinsic and extrinsic reasons (high Fun, high Future, high Parents) for involvement. OA participation simultaneously motivated by extrinsic and intrinsic reasons was linked to fewer psychosocial benefits than intrinsically motivated OA involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1559-1569
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjustment
  • Adolescence
  • Affluence
  • Organized activity involvement
  • Over-scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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