Research on Capitol Hill

Presenter and Co-Presenter(s)

Erica Hawvermale, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor

Travis Dorsch


The present study was designed to analyze the relationship between participation in extracurricular activities and high school adolescents' psychological sense of community (PSOC). Extant research has linked PSOC to the several benefits (below). As such we believe that PSOC acts as a buffer between adolescents and negative high school outcomes.

Psychological Sense of Community

The perception held by a member of a group that one belongs and matters. Further, PSOC captures that the group matters to each other and that through group commitment, shared needs will be met. Thus, PSOC encompasses four main concepts: membership, influence, fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection.

Benefits of psychological sense of community:

  • reduced stress
  • lower prevalence of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders
  • increased motivation in school
  • enhanced self-efficacy
  • reduced likelihood of gang involvement
  • increased efficacy to cope with major life transitions and events

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Research On Capitol Hill 2016

Document Type


Publication Date


Included in

Sociology Commons



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