The effect of athletic participation on academic achievement of middle school students

Kendal Shriver Cathey, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between athletic participation and academic achievement with consideration of gender, ethnicity, participation, and test scores at the middle school level.^ It has been estimated that over 7 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 participate in organized school sports in the United States (Stryer, Tofler, & Lapchick, 1998). The current trend in public education is toward high-stakes standardized testing (NCES, 1994). Interscholastic athletics encourages student to stay motivated (Gaston, 2002). Unfortunately, at the middle school level, over the past decade, extracurricular activities have decreased.^ Participants in this study consisted of eighth-grade students enrolled at eight middle schools. Quantitative data was gathered and analyzed on 1,227 eighth-grade students enrolled in these eight middle schools during the 2005-2006 school year. TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program Achievement Test) scores were used to measure academic achievement. The subjects of this study were categorized into two groups: athletes and nonathletes. Students' identities remained anonymous.^ Results of the analysis revealed that statistically significant differences were found in academic performance on the TCAP subtests for Reading (F = 6.75, p-value < .05), Math (F = 23.39, p-value < .05), and Science (F = 6.73, p-value < .05) between athletes and nonathletes. However, a statistically significant difference was not found in the academic performance on the TCAP subtest for Social Studies (F = .32, p > .05) between athletes and nonathletes. ^ The statistically significance of the difference between students' gender and athletic participation and their academic performance on the TCAP subtests was tested. Analysis of the data revealed that a statistically significant difference was found in academic performance on the TCAP subtests for Reading (F = 9.48, p-value < .05) and Math (F = 20.03, p-value < .05) between athletes and nonathletes. In regard to gender, a statistically significant difference was found in Reading (F = 3.98, p-value < .05) and Science (F = 4.97, p-value < .05) achievement between athletes and nonathletes. In comparison, when students' gender and athletic participation were combined there were no statistically significant differences found for students performance on the TCAP subtests. This data suggests that students' gender and athletic participation did not significantly affect students' performance on the TCAP subtests.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Physical|Recreation

Recommended Citation

Kendal Shriver Cathey, "The effect of athletic participation on academic achievement of middle school students" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3310733.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3310733

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