High-Ability Students’ Time Spent Outside the Classroom


Journal Article

© 2011 SAGE Publications. This study considered how three groups of academically talented high school students—those who attended an academic summer program (TIP), those who qualified for the program but chose not to attend (QNA), and those who did not qualify (DNQ)—spent time outside the classroom. These groupings differentiated students by ability (QNA vs. DNQ) and attendance (TIP vs. QNA). Male–female comparisons were also conducted. By comparing participation rates across a variety of activities and by sex, the current study helps explain the lives of high-ability students outside the arena by which they are defined: their academic ability. Results reveal numerous group and sex differences based on how high-ability students spend their time outside the classroom. Females tended to participate more than males in activities that were generally positively associated with academic achievement, while also participating in more types of activities. Males, however, reported watching more TV and were less likely to participate in any activity. QNA students reported spending more time on academic-related activities, such as homework and academic clubs, than did DNQ students, indicating a generally higher interest in academic endeavors. However, the QNA and TIP groups differed only in their service club participation rates, indicating that attending a summer program is not associated with spending time outside the classroom differently during the school year. This research underscores the heterogeneity of different groups of high-ability students and suggests some caution when generalizing from research findings based only on program participants. Knowing how students spend their time can help parents, educators, and researchers understand and foster adolescent development.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Makel, MC; Li, Y; Putallaz, M; Wai, J

Published Date

  • November 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 720 - 749

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2162-9536

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1932-202X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1932202X11424880

Citation Source

  • Scopus