Correlation Between Athletic and Academic Success Black High School Students’ Participation in School-sponsored Sports Activities: Effects on School Engagement and Achievement Article by W.J. Jordan. 2000. Journal of Negro Education, 68(1): 54-71 Presented by Ben Bruffey, Environmental Sciences, GEOG 370, 2/26/2008
Athletic Achievement and What Results from It • Problem: Star athletes are often forced to dedicate great amounts of time to their sport of choice in order to excel, however they build confidence and investment in their education through interaction with adults. The question is whether the net result of involvement in sports on education is positive due to the extra investment or negative due consumption of time. • Hypothesis: Success of a student in an athletic arena typically results in a greater success in the area of academics.
Relating Athletic Participation to Resulting GPA • Data: National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) • Study includes: survey of students and their parents, teachers, and principals from public and private schools from all regions and community types in the US • Independent variable: time spent on athletics per week • Control variables: social economic status, gender, risk factors for dropping out of school, prior GPA, standardized reading achievement, preparedness for class, student self-concept, whether or not student believed he or she was athletic • Dependent variable: student achievement (in the areas of reading, mathematics, history, and science)
Results • Probably the most surprising of results is how few students participate in school-sponsored athletics • The results show that participation in high school sports is associated with higher grades, better self-concept, greater academic self-confidence, and higher academic achievement • Because of how few students actually participate in athletics, a small number actually reap the benefits
Conclusions • Sports and school are clearly related • The relationship between participation in high school athletics and various areas of achievement, both academic and personal, are positively correlated • Limitations: • No-pass/no-play rule skews grades to be higher by forcing athletes to have at least passing grades • Athletes are steered away from difficult courses to pad their GPAs • Coaches sometimes pressure teachers to give athletes good grades