Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

12-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia P. Foley

Committee Members

Cecil N. Blankenship, Donald W. Good, Pamela H. Scott

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if student athletes were more successful in school than nonathletes at 2 middle schools located in the same school district in Western North Carolina. Each school serves students in grades 6-8; however, data were only gathered from students in grades 7 and 8 because students in grade 6 are prohibited from participating in athletics at the middle school level. The testing variables included number of days absent from school, percentile score on Math End-of-Grade tests, percentile score on Reading End-of-Grade tests, final grade in math courses, and final grade in reading courses. Grouping variables were students in the same cohort with data obtained from 7th grade during the 2009-2010 school year, followed by data obtained from 8th grade during the 2010-2011 school year. Results were analyzed from School A, School B, and Schools A and B combined. Independent samples t-tests were used to make comparisons between student athletes and nonathletes for each of the variables. Based on the findings of this study, middle school students involved in interscholastic sports missed fewer days of school than students who were not involved in athletics. Differences were found in End-of-Grade Math and Reading percentile scores between student athletes and nonathletes in School B. Students who participated in athletics tended to earn higher End-of-Grade percentile scores. No significant differences were found for the same assessments in the other middle school. Data from both schools combined have found no significant difference in Reading End-of-Grade percentile scores; however, students who participated in athletics tended to have a higher percentile scored on Math End-of-Grade exams than student nonathletes. School B had significant differences in student outcomes in final grades for both math and reading courses with the student athletes earning a higher grade. School A did not have a significant difference in final grades for math courses but did have a significant difference in final grades for reading courses with student athletes earning a higher grade. Data from both schools combined found a significant difference between student athletes and nonathletes in final grades for math and reading courses. Student athletes tended to have a higher grade in each subject when compared to nonathletes.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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