Educational performance of athletes and nonathletes in two Mississippi rural high schools
The purpose of this study was to investigate the difference between athletes and nonathletes on academic achievement and discipline referrals. The study examined the relationship between these differences on grade level, socioeconomic status, gender, and type of sport. The investigation also examined the difference between athletes on academic achievement during season and out of season. This study utilized the academic and discipline records of 276 athletes and 276 nonathletes (n = 552). All participants were enrolled in either the ninth (n = 94), tenth (n = 60), eleventh (n = 56), or twelfth grades (n = 66) during the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 school years. The total by gender in the athlete group was 219 males and 57 females. The total by gender in the nonathlete group was 219 males and 57 females. Eleven hypotheses were presented and tested using a t-test, One Way Anova, and Two Way Anova. Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference between the means of athletes and nonathletes on the criterion variable of academic achievement. This finding suggests that athletes achieved (GPA) at about the same level as nonathletes on the criterion variable of academic achievement. A significant difference between the means of athletes and nonathletes on the criterion variable of discipline referrals was found. Nonathletes reported significantly more discipline referrals than athletes. Further statistical analysis revealed a significant interaction between groups (athletes and nonathletes) and gender on the criterion variable of academic achievement, with the female athlete group achieving a higher GPA than the other groups. Finally, a significant difference between athletes who participated in two different sports on the criterion variable of academic achievement was discovered. Further study indicated that the basketball/track group achieved higher GPAs than the other multiple sport groups used in the study. In conclusion, the study supports previous research with other groups of athletes and nonathletes from different socioeconomic backgrounds.