The stress-coping model is extensively studied in the academic context. Past studies have primarily focused on different coping strategies adopted by students to overcome academic stress. However, an important question, how to equip students to cope with stress, was ignored. Drawing on stress-coping theory and the extracurricular activity (ECA) literature, the current study investigates the intervention of ECA participation on students’ coping, academic performance, and well-being in a natural setting.
The study follows a “cross-sectional post-test only quasi-experimental design” using a natural experimental setting.
The findings indicate that participation in ECA has a significant influence on academic outcomes. Different types of ECA participation influence well-being, whereas time spent on ECA positively affects academic performance. Further, the findings also indicate that involvement in ECA moderates the relationship between academic stress and coping.
The study results have practical implications for designing interventional ECA to enhance students’ academic outcomes and well-being.
The study indicates the effectiveness of ECA participation in dealing with academic stress and the development of constructive coping strategies. Hence, the authors advise the academic administrators to integrate ECA in the academic setting.
The authors would like to thank Dr Alexander Newman, Deakin University, for providing detailed feedback on previous versions of this manuscript. The authors also thank the anonymous referees for their valuable comments to improve the structure and content of the manuscript.
Mukesh, H.V., Acharya, V. and Pillai, R. (2023), "Are extracurricular activities stress busters to enhance students’ well-being and academic performance? Evidence from a natural experiment", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 152-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-06-2021-0240
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