By studying how boys like Nick and Alex spend their time outside of school, researchers have learned valuable lessons about boys’ and girls’ risk factors — those traits and life experiences that can jeopardize a person’s healthy development — and protective factors — the characteristics and life experiences that can increase a person’s likelihood of positive outcomes.
Reasons young people may not make constructive use of their out-of-school time:
- Low level of self-esteem(16)
- Poor academic performance(17)
- Lack of parental monitoring(18)
- A neighborhood with limited access to resources, such as parks and recreation centers(19)
Factors that promote young people’s constructive use of time include: