Author (Your Name)

John SteenrodFollow

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Economics Dept.


Samara Gunter


As female labor force participation has gone up, families have turned more and more towards after school programs to provide adult supervision for their children, especially in low income areas. This paper utilizes longitudinal household data to examine the effect of these after school programs on noncognitive outcomes in children, and, in particular, follows the early education literature in using within-family comparisons for identification. I find that children who participate in after school programs are less likely to be depressed, and are more likely to have a high degree of emotional, social, and psychological well-being. Generally, participation is associated in the short-term with 3-10% improvements on scales measuring depression, well-being, and children's self concept. In a limited sample, I also find that these improvements are maintained in the long-term. As these noncognitive measures are shown to affect later-life outcomes such as educational attainment and earnings (Heckman 2006), they are important to study when considering the efficacy of after school programs, but the literature on after school programs so far has focused on cognitive and behavioral outcomes.


after school, after-school, education, noncognitive outcomes, adult supervision