Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mark Pancer

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The study reported in this paper examined the relationship between involvement in extracurricular academic and community activities and students’ adjustment to the transition to university. The study also sought to identify the underlying motivational factors that influence students’ decisions to get involved in these kinds of activities. Participants were 90 first-year undergraduate university students (59 females, 31 males) with a mean age of 19.4 years (SD=.98), participating in mass testing sessions conducted at WLU with introductory psychology classes. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire containing measures designed to assess various aspects of involvement and adjustment. These included a background measure, a measure of motivation, three measures of involvement, and five outcome measures, each assessing a different aspect of adjustment. It was hypothesized that students would experienced psychological benefits from being involved, regardless of the type of involvement they were engaged in. This hypothesis was supported, as results indicated that students who were involved in extracurricular academic/community activities evidenced better social/emotional adjustment to university compared to students who were uninvolved. The underlying motivating factors influencing students’ decisions to get involved in extracurricular activities were also examined. These factors include values/beliefs, interest, community concern, and personal and academic development. Results indicated that students who had higher levels of overall motivation also tended to become involved in extracurricular activities compared to students who indicated lower levels of motivation. Thus, the results obtained paint the following picture with respect to involvement in extracurricular activities: Students who are involved tend to be better emotionally and socially adjusted and to possess higher levels of motivation than students who are uninvolved.

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