Comparing the Academic Performance of High School Athletes and Non-Athletes in Kansas
Sports participation and academic performance: Evidence from the. National Longitudinal Study estimates of the relationship between sports participation and grades are However, much of the empirical work in this area has treated sports. Section 3 contains a description of empirical approach. success in sports provides student athletes incentives to do better in the classroom. . This study confirms the earlier findings of no genetic association between height. The influence of sports participation on academic performance among students in The empirical evidence is provided by a panel dataset of undergraduate students who Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand.
Hierarchical linear regression models were used. Some notable findings were revealed. An increase of 1 SD on anaerobic power flexibility from the first to third school year is positively associated with an increase in the university entrance exam scores by 0.
Physical activity and student performance at school. - Semantic Scholar
We suggest that education and school health policymakers should consider and design policies to improve physical fitness as part of their overall strategy of improving academic performance. Introduction There is incontrovertible evidence that regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancers, dying prematurely and obesity [ 1—3 ]. Being physically active has beneficial influences on psychological health, including depression, anxiety, stress and self-confidence [ 24 ].
Regular physical activity in adolescence is particularly important because it helps to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints [ 2 ]. Regular physical activity in adolescence helps to develop good physical activity habits and stay active into adulthood reducing incidences of chronic diseases in adulthood, such as obesity and hypertension [ 56 ].
School-based physical education classes serve as an ideal avenue to provide opportunities for students having regular physical activity as students spend more time at school than anywhere else except home.
However, physical education in schools is sometimes regarded as an extracurricular activity despite the acknowledgement of the benefits of physical activity for adolescents.
Many schoolteachers, parents and students believe that taking time for physical education detracts from academic performance [ 7—10 ]. Physical education time declines sharply as senior high school students progress through grades, because they have to spend more time on college admissions process.
If there is evidence that physical education plays a critical role in the academic success of students, one can argue that physical education is not an extracurricular activity [ 12 ]. Before we proceed further, it is worthwhile to clarify the terms for physical activity, physical fitness and physical education, as they are usually confused with one another. To the best of our knowledge, there are only two known published studies involving random assignment of students to experimental and control conditions to address the causal effect [ 1117 ].
Both studies did not find evidence that spending more time on physical activity at schools leads to improved standardized test scores.
These studies, however, focused on younger cohorts from kindergarten to ninth grade. Due to the lack of suitable age-cohort data, the majority of published research relies on cross-sectional data. Numerous studies used cross-sectional population-representative data and observed that the participation in physical activity is significantly positively associated with academic performance [ 22—29 ]; however, none of these studies assessed academic performance with objective standardized test scores.
Our study supplements to the existing literature in several ways. First, the data used in this study are unique. The two datasets are on public records and not self-reported. Hence, our physical fitness and academic performance measures are objective and free of self-reported bias. Second, the university entrance exam is the necessary hurdle for all university-bound seniors to be admitted into an undergraduate program in Taiwan.
The university entrance exam is uniform across the country, which leads our estimates based on the national scope of standardized tests.
The impact of athletics on academics
Third, this study focuses on senior high school adolescents who have not been extensively discussed before. Fourth, this study attempts to go one step beyond a commonly used cross-sectional analysis.
In addition to the physical fitness of the first school year of each student, we also have information on the changes of physical fitness test performance from the first to third year of senior high school study period of each student.
The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between the changes of physical fitness across the 3-year spectrum of senior high school study and academic performance measured by the university entrance exam scores in Taiwan.
In particular, the heterogeneous relationships by gender are examined. Hence, it is important to explore the gender heterogeneity when documenting the relationship between the changes of physical fitness and academic performance.
For the purposes of this study, it is hypothesized that improved physical fitness would relate to better academic performance and this relationship would be stronger among female students who tend to have lower levels of physical fitness at baseline [ 2030 ].
Materials and methods This study explores the relationship between changes in physical fitness performance across the 3-year spectrum of senior high school study and academic performance measured by the university entrance exam in Taiwan.
Descriptions of the data used and matching procedures, measures of physical fitness and academic performance, characteristics of the participants and statistical analyses are illustrated below. Procedures Two population-based datasets are used. The first dataset is the physical fitness profile of the senior high school students collected by the Department of Physical Education, Ministry of Education MOETaiwan.
This dataset contained information on physical fitness assessments including muscular fitness, anaerobic power and flexibilitygender and grade level of each student.
In this study, we matched the physical fitness profile and the university entrance exam scores of each student based on the personal identification and name with the supervision and the technical support from the MOE and CEEC. The most recent three waves of university-bound seniors who took the university entrance exam inand were chosen.
- The relationship between sport and academic achievement
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Taking the students who took the university-bound exam for instance, we had their GSAT scores in and the physical fitness test results of their third and first senior high school year as well. The same procedure was conducted for students who took the university entrance exam in and Across all racial groups, a higher percentage of athletes than non-athletes reported earning a 3. These data confirmed that athletes were more likely to graduate than were non-athletes, although being required to maintain academic eligibility in order to participate in sport may have been a contributing factor.
Graduation rates by ethnicity revealed that athletes graduated at higher rates than non-athletes in all racial categories. These findings suggest that participating in high school athletics may be especially beneficial in helping students who were ethnic minorities graduate. Non-athletes in Kansas were over 15 times more likely to drop out of school than were athletes as non-athletes dropped out during compared to only athletes.
Once again, several gender differences surfaced. Male non-athletes were 12 times more likely to drop out of school than were male athletes. Athletic participation may be even more important for females as non-athletes were 24 times more like to drop out than were female athletes.
Only 36 female athletes dropped out of school in compared to female non-athletes. Across all ethnic groups, athletes were much less likely to drop out of school than non-athletes, thus supporting the argument that participating in high school sports is a contributing factor in retention.
Participating in sports may be particularly beneficial in helping students who were ethnic minorities matriculate. In this study, 2. More importantly, several statistically significant differences emerged. As a group, Kansas high school athletes scored significantly higher on the ACT mathematics and science tests than did non-athletes.
However, as a group, non-athletes performed significantly better than athletes in reading. These findings partially supported the findings of JacAngelo and Kaufman There were no significant differences in English or on the composite score.
Instead, male non-athletes scored significantly higher on ACT English, reading, and composite scores than did male athletes. Among females, however, the findings were reversed. Female athletes scored significantly higher in English, mathematics, science, and the composite score than did female non-athletes. These findings suggest that as a group, male non-athletes may be more serious students than are male athletes. Conversely, female athletes appear to either be more serious students or have found better methods of balancing their academic and athletic commitments.
Among athletes, males outperformed females significantly on mathematics and science, while females scored significantly higher than males on English and reading on the ACT. These differences on ACT tests seem to reinforce past findings about curricular strengths and interests by gender. However, White athletes and non-athletes differed on all four of the ACT tests with White non-athletes scoring significantly higher than White athletes in English and reading and White athletes scoring higher than White non-athletes in mathematics and science.
Kansas State Assessments Unlike the ACT where athletes outperformed non-athletes in math and science, but non-athletes performed higher in reading, scores on Kansas state assessments showed that athletes outperformed non-athletes in all areas and in all years for which data were available. Overall, this study found that athletes outperform non-athletes in several academic areas.
It is important to note, however, that these findings do not imply that participation in athletics causes higher academic achievement. This study did not control for factors like socio-economic status, family background, or years of sport participation which may have contributed to academic differences prior to participation in high school sports. Therefore, no causal relationships were established.
There are numerous reasons why participation in high school sports may positively affect academic achievement. The Kansas eligibility requirement that students must pass five units of credit each semester to retain eligibility to participate in high school sports may motivate some athletes to take their school work more seriously.
Additionally, coaches and other educators can be influential in encouraging and helping athletes maintain their eligibility. Through sports participation, high school athletes may have learned greater self-discipline and better time management, enabling them to effectively fulfill their academic responsibilities. Competitiveness in sports may contribute to a similar work effort focused on achieving at least minimal, and possibly higher, academic goals.
Finally, athletes may enjoy the prominent status attached to being an athlete because they receive more encouragement and praise for their efforts than do non-athletes. Thus, maintaining athletic eligibility becomes a priority. A confounding factor could be that athletes may enjoy academic advantages prior to entering high school and participating on sport teams, as suggested by Lueptow and Kayser It is possible that students who already achieve at higher academic levels choose to participate in sports.
Thus, differences in academic performance at the high school level may be due to selection bias. However, Broh controlled for the selection of higher-performing students into sports and still found higher grades for athletes.
Physical activity and student performance at school.
To summarize, this study demonstrates high school athletes in Kansas reported higher grades, had higher graduation rates, much lower numbers of dropouts, some significantly higher ACT scores, and significantly higher state assessment scores on all tests than did non-athletes.
While no cause-and-effect relationships could be established, several statistically significant and other double-digit percentage differences support that participation in high school athletes does not detract from their academic performance.
Instead, participation appears to enhance academic performance. Conclusions Across the nation, high school sports have faced renewed scrutiny as reduced federal, state, and local financial support has forced school administrators to find ways to reduce budget deficits. Some school districts in Kansas, Arizona, and Florida have already eliminated sport programs and coaches Carlyon, ; Hardy, ; Whetten, While this may seem like a reasonable alternative to eliminating sport programs altogether, it discriminates against students who do not have the financial means to pay for membership on a high school sports team.
Pay-to-play may be especially harmful to urban students, many of whom may also be ethnic minorities. In this study, athletes from ethnic minorities graduated at much higher rates, dropped out much less frequently, and reported much higher GPAs than did non-athletes.
In Kansas, participation in high school sports is definitely not detracting from academic performance. Kansas high school athletes in earned higher grades, graduated at higher rates, were less likely to drop out of school, and scored higher on state assessments and some areas of the ACT than did non-athletes.
According to the NFHS n. As coaches, administrators, and supporters of high school athletics battle for funding in a challenging economic climate, they now have recent empirical evidence that can be used to help substantiate and quantify their arguments for the overall cost-benefit of funding high school sports.
As a new state initiative, the KSDE is just beginning to collect and make available extensive academic performance data on Kansas students. As increased data become available, future studies can provide a more extensive perspective of the academic achievement of athletes and non-athletes. For example, longitudinal ACT test scores and state assessment data are needed to more fully examine the academic performance of non-athletes and athletes including by gender and ethnicity.
As the availability of data increases, researchers can more confidently and conclusively determine whether participation in high school sports leads to higher levels of academic performance across a variety of measures.
Despite limited data in some areas, this study provides baseline information for subsequent studies in Kansas and other states.
How much influence participation in high school sports has on the academic achievements of participants versus how much is attributable to other factors is unknown. Additional research is needed to answer this important question. Future researchers are encouraged to control for factors such as academic ability, family background, and socio-economic status that may influence higher-performing students to self-select into sports. Controlling these types of variables would help confirm or refute a causal relationship between participation in high school sports and higher academic achievement.
The impact of eligibility requirements on academic performance should also be examined. Are more high school students motivated to achieve at least at the minimal academic level so they can participate in sports, or do more students choose to drop out of school, and thus lose the benefits associated with participation in high school sports, because they are unwilling or unable to meet minimum academic requirements?
Examining the positive and negative outcomes associated with meeting academic eligibility requirements to participate in high school sports would be helpful in establishing eligibility policies. Facts about the ACT.
Extracurricular activities and academic achievement Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern Mississippi. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Linking extracurricular programming to academic achievement: Who benefits and why? Sociology of Education, 75, A comparison of academic athletic eligibility in interscholastic sports in American high schools. The Sport Journal, 13 2. High School Journal, 84 21.
Eligibility requirements for interscholastic athletic participation.