What Challenges Are Boys Facing, and What Opportunities Exist To Address Those Challenges? Fact Sheet: Constructive Use of Time*. What Factors Influence Constructive Use of Time?


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:

  • Having many friends(20)
  • A sense of belonging at school and at home(21)
  • Involvement with positive peer group activities(22)
  • Having parents who volunteer their time(23)
  • Religious or spiritual connectedness(24)
  • A caring relationship with a significant adult other than a parent(25)

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