Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Jean Rhodes

Second Advisor

Abbey Eisenhower

Third Advisor

Richard M. Lerner


This study explores the relationship between patterns of OST activity participation and civic engagement. Civic engagement is assessed through the Active Engaged Citizenship (AEC) measure, which is comprised of four components: civic duty, civic efficacy, neighborhood social connection, and civic participation. A person-centered analysis was initially used to define OST activity participation patterns in adolescents. LPA and LCA results were inconclusive, but a cluster analysis using Ward’s method (and a k-means relocation on the Ward’s solution) revealed 12 distinct patterns of OST activity participation in eighth-grade youth, based on levels of participation in seven categories comprising 37 total activities. ANOVAs revealed significant differences in civic engagement among clusters, and clusters characterized by higher levels of involvement in three or more activity categories also had the highest AEC scores. Youth associated with certain activity clusters (sports-only, work, and low-engaged) tended to have the lowest AEC scores. Breadth of participation was positively associated with civic engagement. When used as a covariate, breadth accounted for a great deal of the variance in AEC scores among clusters. Only three clusters (all characterized by high levels of participation in religious activities) remained significantly different from low-engaged youth in terms of civic engagement when breadth of activity participation was controlled. Implications of these findings are discussed, and recommendations are made concerning future research on civic engagement and OST activity participation.


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