Forget about the “overscheduled child,” concludes a Yale study. Children with organized activities thrive.
In a nationwide random survey of 2,125 5- to 18-year-olds, the study found that the more time children spend in organized activities, the better their grades, self-esteem, and relationship with parents and the lower the incidence of substance abuse. Even high school students with more than 20 hours of activities a week don’t suffer for it, (Yale psychologist Joseph Mahoney) says. The study defines organized activities as adult-led and having a purpose. It includes community service and after-school programs, as well as music, religious education, and sports.
Only 6 percent of the children in Mahoney’s study spend more than 20 hours a week in activities; 40 percent have no activities at all.