Children with lots of after-school activities are happier and less stressed than their couch potato counterparts, concludes two recent studies. From the Washington Post:
Two studies based on data about how children spend their days show that only a minority are heavily scheduled and that organized activities are linked to positive outcomes in school, emotional development, family life and behavior.
The children most at risk have no activities at all, the studies showed.
University of Maryland’s Sandra L. Hofferth started her research believing that “lots and lots of activities are bad for children.” The data changed her mind.
A higher level of activity was not linked to such stress symptoms as depression, anxiety, alienation and fearfulness.
“We just don’t find that the children who are more active are more stressed,” she said.
Parents, however, are stressed by the challenges of managing their own lives and their children’s busy schedules, she said.