After-school time use in Taiwan: effects on educational achievement and well-being

Adolescence. Winter 2009;44(176):891-909.


Western studies have linked adolescents' time spent on homework, structured activities, various kinds of leisure involvement, and part-time employment with their academic achievement and psychological adjustment, but little is known about the after-school pursuits of Chinese students and their associations with adolescents' development. Using a nationally representative sample in Taiwan, this study investigated how time spent on nine after-school activities during the eleventh grade helped predict educational achievement and depression symptoms during the twelfth grade, in addition to previous achievement and depression level and background variables. The findings of this study confirmed and extended the extant literature that time spent on homework, after-class academic-enrichment programs, and private cram schools positively affected adolescents' educational achievement; however, time spent on private cram schools was negatively associated with their psychological well-being. In addition, inconsistent with the findings of many Western studies, this study's results did not support a positive effect of participating in school-based extracurricular activities on educational achievement and psychological well-being. Finally, time spent on working part-time and watching TV was found to be detrimental to achievement, but time spent playing Internet games appeared to be negatively associated with depression symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Students / psychology*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology