Being involved in music, academic clubs, or sports teaches teens valuable life skills in an environment outside of the classroom. It also teaches them how to work with others that may come from different backgrounds.

Teenagers are in the midst of transitioning between childhood and adulthood – trying to make sense of the world beyond their home while simultaneously building their budding identity.

If you’re interested in academic medicine and love to teach, UC Davis has an impressive amount of opportunities to hone your skills as an educator.  In addition to having third and fourth year medical students rotating through our service on both our internal medicine and psychiatry rotations, you can have protected time to teach courses at the UC Davis School of Medicine (UCDSOM), such as Doctoring, during your senior years.  You can also participate in the formal Medical Education track within the internal medicine program which provides didactics and practical training to help you become a better clinical educator.  Finally, UCDSOM has nine student-run clinics where residents can precept second year medical students in caring for our underserved, vulnerable community members.

The importance of extracurricular activities is that they play a vital role in the physical and emotional development of young people. It provides them with an opportunity to embrace a community, organization, skill development, and time management.

Extensive evidence shows that social participation and social support increases participation in physical activity18, 19 and engagement in physical activity is strongly associated with mental health.7, 8, 20-29 Evaluations have shown that social support such as “buddy” systems increases feelings of well-being and people’s intention to begin or continue participating in physical activity.10, 18, 30, 31 A study of older adults showed that these positive effects were highest amongst subjects with high baseline self-efficacy and in those who exercised more frequently.20 However, those with lower baseline self-efficacy showed a greater upward trend over six months, which was attributed to the creation of “buddy groups” within the program. The National Heart Foundation’s ‘Just walk It’ program identified social cohesion as the main predictor of adherence to walking programs and as an important component for creating positive attitudes toward physical activity.10 The 2003 Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey in Western Australia identified one of the barriers to participation in physical activity as “no one to be active with”.32 A recent review of dog ownership literature suggests that “buddies” need not be limited solely to the human variety, as the social support gained from dogs was also shown to encourage increased physical activity.33

Many adolescents apply for summer jobs or work part-time during the school year. Participating in extracurricular activities looks good on a resume will give them an advantage over other applicants. Potential employers want to know that applicants can multitask and deliver results.

See what some of our past clients have said about Family First Adolescent Services.

Recent research also indicates an association between obesity and depression.34,35 Many depressed persons are inactive and gain weight and physical activity is listed as a potential mediating variable for depression.35 Participation in recreational groups and socially supported physical activity assists people to initiate and sustain physical activity programs. Decreased physical activity amongst children and adolescents is believed to have contributed to the prevalence of overweight and obesity doubling in the past two decades.36 There is clear evidence of the benefits of physical activity in preventing and treating obesity.37, 3

Behavioral health is a blanket term that refers to overall well being. That is to say, people who exhibit strong behavioral health take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. They are also far less likely to have a mental health disorder or a substance use problem.

We understand how important education is to the development of young minds. Our programs place the utmost importance on teaching adolescent males how to live a healthy life while taking care of business. School is priority here. We also understand the importance of family dynamics. Our Family Programming focuses on healing the entire family from within. We’re passionate about changing lives.

Infographic above: Being physically active: protects against mental health problems, decreases depression in older adults, reduces the symptoms of post natal depression, is as effective as medication for mild to moderate anxiety and depression, improves self-esteem and cognitive function in young  people, playing sport reduces psychological distress by 34% 1-3 times a week and 46% 4+ times a week, people who participate in sports clubs and organised recreational activity enjoy better mental health.

Participation in organized sport and recreation can be a preventative and curative strategy to promote positive mental health and combat mental illness. The recommendations of this review support the development and maintenance of organized sport and recreational activities in the community. These programs should be socially and culturally appropriate and should take into account mediating factors that increase adherence to physical activity programs. They should Participation in organized sport and recreation Improved physical and mental health and well-being Reduction of obesity Social support Social networks Social cohesion Social capital Cognitive function 6 extend to diverse population groups including those most at risk of developing mental health problems. Valid and reliable evaluations of the programs would contribute to the international body of evidence relating to the mental health benefits of organized group activities. Government sectors must work together to support a diverse range of organized recreational activities to promote increased social support and social capital in the population as proposed in both State and Federal Action Plans relating to mental health.40, 41

Learning a musical instrument is one of the few activities that engages both sides of the brain. It is simultaneously creative and analytical. On the other hand, organized sports teach adolescents how to apply physical and mental energy in conjunction with strategy.

The benefits of extracurricular activities can improve an adolescent’s quality of life in several ways. They provide opportunities for community involvement, as well as a platform for developing strong behavioral health skills. 

See what some of our past clients have said about Family First Adolescent Services.

Department of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield campus, Southampton, UK

Self-esteem and self-worth are achieved through success. Extracurricular activities provide many challenges and opportunities for success. They can also teach teens how to learn from failure.

Physical inactivity is second only to tobacco as a contributing factor to the burden of disease and injury in Australia.44 Regular physical activity is widely recognized as protective against the overall burden of disease.37 In 2002, more than a third (37.6%) of adult Australians reported no participation in sports and physical recreation.2 Approximately half of the remainder (31.5%) participated in organized sports and physical recreation, with a further 30.9% reporting that they undertook some form of physical activity.2For both males and females, walking was the most popular form of recreational physical activity.2Approximately 40% of children do not participate in organised sporting activity outside of school.2

After school activities for teens can include joining a sports team, playing a musical instrument in band or orchestra, being a Science Olympiad, or getting involved with student government. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Talk to your child’s school to discover what programs are offered.

A great way to build value and self-esteem is through involvement with extracurricular activities.

School is important. So is doing homework and performing well on tests. But it’s equally important for adolescents to learn about balance and structure in the activities that they enjoy.

A full schedule demands responsibility and time management. It also drastically reduces the probability of mental health issues and substance use disorders.

Especially young people.

Extensive evidence shows that social participation and social support increases participation in physical activity18, 19 and engagement in physical activity is strongly associated with mental health.7, 8, 20-29 Evaluations have shown that social support such as “buddy” systems increases feelings of well-being and people’s intention to begin or continue participating in physical activity.10, 18, 30, 31 A study of older adults showed that these positive effects were highest amongst subjects with high baseline self-efficacy and in those who exercised more frequently.20 However, those with lower baseline self-efficacy showed a greater upward trend over six months, which was attributed to the creation of “buddy groups” within the program. The National Heart Foundation’s ‘Just walk It’ program identified social cohesion as the main predictor of adherence to walking programs and as an important component for creating positive attitudes toward physical activity.10 The 2003 Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey in Western Australia identified one of the barriers to participation in physical activity as “no one to be active with”.32 A recent review of dog ownership literature suggests that “buddies” need not be limited solely to the human variety, as the social support gained from dogs was also shown to encourage increased physical activity.33

Numerous studies and reviews demonstrate associations between social interaction and mental wellbeing.6-15 The Whitehall Study in the United Kingdom found that people without good social support were five times more likely to have a mental illness than those with good support.6 There were significant associations between social isolation and low mental health scores in a cross section of the population in rural and regional Victoria.8 There were similar findings in a random sample of the population in suburban Adelaide.7 A significant association between depression and loneliness has been found in middle to older age adults in the United States, using both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses.15 A prospective cohort study into psychosocial factors and mortality in Norway found that both social participation and social support are predictors of a long life, and social support helps in the handling of stressful life situations.9 An evidence-based intervention strategy designed for older adults in the USA advocates social participation as a means to maintain cognitive vitality.14 The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA recommends joining a community group or becoming a volunteer in order to buffer the effects of stress.16 Another benefit to community wellbeing is shown in a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology in which a ten percent increase in community participation was related to a statistically significant 1.9% decline in violent crime rates.1 A decrease in criminal behaviour can lead to a further increase in social participation as people feel safer in their community environment.17 The Australian Government promotes social participation and social capital in the Stronger Families and Community Strategy.17

Teenagers are in the midst of transitioning between childhood and adulthood – trying to make sense of the world beyond their home while simultaneously building their budding identity.

Numerous studies and reviews demonstrate associations between social interaction and mental wellbeing.6-15 The Whitehall Study in the United Kingdom found that people without good social support were five times more likely to have a mental illness than those with good support.6 There were significant associations between social isolation and low mental health scores in a cross section of the population in rural and regional Victoria.8 There were similar findings in a random sample of the population in suburban Adelaide.7 A significant association between depression and loneliness has been found in middle to older age adults in the United States, using both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses.15 A prospective cohort study into psychosocial factors and mortality in Norway found that both social participation and social support are predictors of a long life, and social support helps in the handling of stressful life situations.9 An evidence-based intervention strategy designed for older adults in the USA advocates social participation as a means to maintain cognitive vitality.14 The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA recommends joining a community group or becoming a volunteer in order to buffer the effects of stress.16 Another benefit to community wellbeing is shown in a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology in which a ten percent increase in community participation was related to a statistically significant 1.9% decline in violent crime rates.1 A decrease in criminal behaviour can lead to a further increase in social participation as people feel safer in their community environment.17 The Australian Government promotes social participation and social capital in the Stronger Families and Community Strategy.17

Australia spent a total of $3.3 billion on mental illness in 2003, 6.6 percent of the total cost of health care.39 Depressive disorders are one of the major causes of disability in Australia affecting about six percent of the population in any one year.40 Certain population groups appear to be more at risk than others: Indigenous people, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) people, people with disabilities, adolescents, postnatal women and the elderly.40 The 2001 National Health Survey showed that people with mental and behavioural problems were twice as likely to be hospitalised as those without these problems.36 Strategies aimed at enhancing mental health and wellbeing in the community therefore have the potential to decrease the social and economic costs associated with mental illness. The 2000 National Action Plan for Depression includes recommendations for social support, but does not specifically address the need for physical activity or social recreation as a preventive or curative measure.40 The first objective of Key Initiative 6 of the Western Australian Mental Health Action Plan 2005-2010 is “to strengthen community capacity to promote mental health and prevent mental illness, including increasing cross sectoral collaboration and community development”.41

Mental Health And Extra Curricular Activities

After school activities for teens can include joining a sports team, playing a musical instrument in band or orchestra, being a Science Olympiad, or getting involved with student government. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Talk to your child’s school to discover what programs are offered.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that participation in social activities declines with age, and 4% of people aged 18-24 years report no social or sporting participation in a threemonth period compared with 21% of those over 75 years.17 The 2003 Survey of Disability showed that few people with profound or severe core-activity limitation (14 and 10% respectively) ever attend supervised activity programs in a safe environment.17 This includes group activities at day care centres for older people. VicHealth, the peak body for health promotion in Victoria, supports community organizations through its Active Participation Grants.42 Participation by a diverse range of organizations creates opportunities for people who would not normally be involved in traditional sporting activity. An area in which many Australians actively participate is volunteering. Much of the volunteer work undertaken relates to parent’s involvement with their children’s sporting activity.17 A recent study by the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London indicates that volunteering can help boost the 4 recovery of people who experience mental disorders, and help regain entry into employment opportunities.43

Strong behavioral health is a matter of making better choices. Adolescents can learn the value of good decision making through involvement in extracurricular activities. Healthy behaviors lead to wellness and lifestyle management.

Numerous studies and reviews demonstrate associations between social interaction and mental wellbeing.6-15 The Whitehall Study in the United Kingdom found that people without good social support were five times more likely to have a mental illness than those with good support.6 There were significant associations between social isolation and low mental health scores in a cross section of the population in rural and regional Victoria.8 There were similar findings in a random sample of the population in suburban Adelaide.7 A significant association between depression and loneliness has been found in middle to older age adults in the United States, using both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses.15 A prospective cohort study into psychosocial factors and mortality in Norway found that both social participation and social support are predictors of a long life, and social support helps in the handling of stressful life situations.9 An evidence-based intervention strategy designed for older adults in the USA advocates social participation as a means to maintain cognitive vitality.14 The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA recommends joining a community group or becoming a volunteer in order to buffer the effects of stress.16 Another benefit to community wellbeing is shown in a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology in which a ten percent increase in community participation was related to a statistically significant 1.9% decline in violent crime rates.1 A decrease in criminal behaviour can lead to a further increase in social participation as people feel safer in their community environment.17 The Australian Government promotes social participation and social capital in the Stronger Families and Community Strategy.17

Especially young people.

Staff members are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A great way to build value and self-esteem is through involvement with extracurricular activities.

Participation in sport and recreation activities can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.3 Participation in group recreation provides a sense of value, belonging and attachment.4 According to Bandura’s social cognitive theory, behaviour is shaped by the interaction between individual and environmental factors.5 This theory emphasizes the influence of social interaction in relation to behaviour. There are both direct and indirect links between participation in group activity and mental health.

Many adolescents apply for summer jobs or work part-time during the school year. Participating in extracurricular activities looks good on a resume will give them an advantage over other applicants. Potential employers want to know that applicants can multitask and deliver results.

Today, adolescents face unprecedented pressures. They have to grow up fast and are not always psychologically prepared to handle the pace and the pressure. When this happens it can lead to a number of mental health issues – such as depression and anxiety.