Denault A-S, Déry M. (2015). Participation in Organized Activities and Conduct Problems in Elementary School: The Mediating Effect of Social Skills. Journal on Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. 23(3): 167-179.
The goal of this study was to test a mediation model in which social skills mediate the relationship between participation in organized activities and conduct problems among elementary school children. Two moderators of these associations were also examined, namely, gender and reception of special education services. A total of 563 children (45% girls; M age = 8.44) were surveyed. The findings revealed that, after controlling for important covariates, more frequent activity participation predicted better social skills, which, in turn, predicted fewer subsequent conduct problems among children. These associations were not moderated by gender or reception of special education services. These findings suggest that organized activities may provide a positive developmental context for children with conduct problems.