Impressive numbers on the court and in the classroom: evaluating athletic participation and test scores

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Malcom, Breanne
Hill, Twyla J.

Every student goes to school; every student takes standardized tests. This research project addresses whether or not being involved in high school athletics can affect test scores. The data is from the Educational Longitudinal Study (2003). Analyses were done in order to see if there is a difference in the relationship between test scores of students that participated in sports compared to those who did not. The overall finding is that participation in sports increased test scores. Students who were involved in sports on average scored .50 points higher on standardized tests. Students who spent more time watching TV or playing video games decreased their test score by .13. Characteristics of the school were also variables. The higher the percentage of students on the free lunch program at the school, the lower the individual student’s score. Family influences that were tested were such things as the socioeconomic status of the family and the number of siblings the student had. The higher the socioeconomic status the higher the test scores. The more siblings a student has the lower the scores. The peer level factors that were tested were if the student had friends who dropped out of school and if school was important to peers. The results showed if a student had friends who dropped out of school they scored 1.99 points lower on standardized test. Students who had peers that felt school was important tended to score .55 points higher.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Sociology.