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?

09/03/2008

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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