Review of literature 7 proposed method 11 Identification of the problem 11

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Introduction 3

Problem Statement and Importance of the Study 3

Hypothesis 6



Identification of the problem 11

Sampling Method 11

Rationale for Selecting the Sampling Method 11

Demographic Consideration 12

Sampling Error / Sampling Bias 12

Research Design 13

Instruments 13

Data Collection 13

Summary 14


Implications for Future Research and Testing 14


The Link Between Attendance Athletes vs. Non-Athletes And Achievement


Attendance is a major issue in today’s educational system, specifically how to motivate students to come to school and participate on a daily basis. Attendance is clearly beneficial to all students regardless, if he or she is an athlete or not. The problem is the lack motivational factors or incentives to keep the student in their seats at school with as little absentees as possible. There has been significant research done on how lowering students’ absentee rates increase achievement. What needs to be emphasized are the factors and incentives that will increase enrollment on a day-to-day basis, These factors and incentives include athletics, clubs, music, band, class offices and many other organizations that hold students accountable for what they do in and out of school.

Although we will be focusing on athletics, the attendance and academic performance of athletes vs. non-athletes will be analyzed. Coaches hold students accountable for their work due to intricacies of the factors. Eligibility is believed to be the main factor that most coaches are concerned about, especially if a student is a key player within the coach’s system. Coaches are role models to students in many instances, implementing many good practices such as good hygiene, self-respect, morals, respect for others, respect for others’ property, and most importantly, accountability for ones own actions. In today’s society, families and family values are under the microscope and continuously given poor ratings, which in many cases are due to the breakdowns in family values.

Today, many children in school come from single-parent homes, due to the divorce rate being close to 60 percent. The values that our grandparents once held dear to them are seldom followed due to the volatility of our society.

Many parents cannot keep up with the financial demands put on them; much less instill morals into their children. This is where we need to realize that it takes a community to raise a child. We have drawn ourselves away from customs that were passed down from generation to generation. The community instructed and disciplined all who where brought up in it. We need to realize that athletics can be another means for that extension of a community. Coaches can teach players time management skills, self-awareness, accountability, and many other attributes that go along with participating in organized sports. Athletics and extracurricular clubs can create an atmosphere conducive to motivating a child to come to school and accept some degree of accountability. In addition, knowing that if failure to meet specific academic standards prevents athletic participation student s will have a greater desire to succeed in the classroom. Participation is the motivation in many cases for one’s increased achievement and decreased absences.


Since the early 1980s, the call for improvements in the educational setting has focused on ways to determine significant gains in student achievement as demonstrated through student assessments. The development of the call for educational reform and the development of alternative educational systems has extended from the perception of the need to address the increasing failure of the educational system and the need for lasting change.

What many educators and theorists have not recognized is that there is a simple solution to improving educational outcomes in student populations: initiate improvements that increase and maintain school attendance. Though other factors, including athletic participation, clubs, assigning homework, integrating parents or single parents into the educational plan, and initiating new educational models, all support the premise of reform. One aspect that educators tend to forget is that, within athletics, if you do not attend class, you do not participate in the competition. Student-athletes are aware of such rules, rarely get away with such actions, due to accountability, and therefore have higher attendance rates.

In the “open letter to the American people” entitled A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform, the National Commission on Excellence in Education set the mandate for educational reform on a national level (NCEE, 1983).Though educational reform in the United States has been an on going concern for most of the 20th Century.

After a 1981 study of the public education system in the United States, the NCEE determined that the United States was a “nation at risk,” and that “our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science and technological innovation” is being threatened by the inequities and failings of the public education system (NCEE, 1983, p. 5). Further, the NCEE states “our society and its educational institutions seem to have lost sight of their basic purpose for schooling, and of the high expectation and disciplined effort needed to attain them” (NCEE, 1983, p. 5-6).

The claims made in the NCEE report suggested that the increasing expansion of the global network and the necessity for addressing the educational needs of an increasingly varied population were just symptoms of a bigger problem: a basic lack of effective accountability in the educational process, ineffective standards, and failing literacy. This report not only demonstrated the initial premise of this problem, but also underscored the fact that the problem will only continue to worsen until a response is made on a national level to address the inefficiencies in public education. “The people of the United States need to know that individuals in our society who do not possess the levels of skill, literacy, and training essential to this new era will be effectively disenfranchised, not simply from the material rewards that accompany competent performance, but also from the chance to participate fully in our national life” (NCEE, 1983, p. 7). The call for improvement stems from the commissions assertion that education and literacy are paramount to both economic success and to the development of a common understanding, and that as a nation, we have defined the imperative for this commonality. Central to the arguments in the commission’s report are a number of indicators of the risk, which include some of the following:

  • “Some 23 million American adults are functionally illiterate by the simplest tests of everyday reading, writing and comprehension;”

  • “The College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) demonstrate a virtually unbroken decline from 1963 to 1980. Average verbal scores fell over 50 points and average mathematics scores dropped nearly 40 points;”

  • “Many 17-year-olds do not posses the ‘higher order’ intellectual skills we should expect of them. Nearly 40 percent cannot draw inferences from written materials; only one-fifth can solve a mathematics problem requiring several steps” (NCEE, 1983, p. 8-9).

The report calls for the use of reform elements that are already in place and that could be initiated or “mobilized” through effective leadership. The commission asserts the need to focus on the commitment of the nation to higher retention rates, improvements in literacy through greater access to education for all; the continued dedication of educators to the process of improving student performance; and the call for imagination and innovation by policy makers, scientists, educators (both state and local) and scholars to produce a solution to the problems presented and address the changing status of the United States during increasing globalization (NCEE, 1983).

Central to this process is the assertion of the need for a public commitment to change and a greater level of public awareness to the impacts of the declining educational system (NCEE, 1983). Athletics is an alternative that is already established and is believed to benefit those who participate within an organized setting within the school system. Athletics and clubs are an alternative means to achieving academic success and increasing attendance due to the pressure to achieve.

This study is important because it relates directly to the prevalent issue of school reform and the need to address ways of improving school achievement. This research study underscores the necessity to focus on ways of determining school attendance in a consistent manner as a way of improving outcomes for students as a whole.


The hypothesis for this study is as follows: For athletes who play organized spo rts at any level, there is a higher correlation between consistent school attendance and improvements in educational assessments (also defined as school achievement) for athletes than for non-athletes. Within athletics, many athletes are judged by stereotypes that negate their own academic success. Many people disregard the facts that many students who participate in athletics are held to a higher standard then those who are non-athletes. Those who are non-athletes still may excel, but they set their own premise for success regardless of the outcome. Students not involved in extra-curricular activities are not held to as high a standard, because their parents are too busy trying to improve they’re own child’s worth, which is possibly due to the family breakdown. This hypothesis is based on an assessment of the current literature and a population of high school students. It allows for the integration of more than one research instrument in demonstrating the hypothesis. This study is directional, as opposed to non-directional, and incorporates the use of Causal Comparative research of a student population as a means of supporting the hypothesis presented. This study will investigate a relationship between school achievement through test scores and assessments and student attendance records of athletes vs. non-athletes.

Athletic involvement will improve achievement due to pressure and accountability for his/ her own actions that will reflect upon themselves positively or negatively. Also, the effect of the outcome of a sporting event will motivate the students to improve their performance in order to participate.

  • Independent variable is involvement in athletics defined as a member of a team and non-athletes those who are not associated with a club or sport.

  • Dependent variable is achievement defined as GPA and attendance.

  • Non-Directional Hypothesis there will be a difference between athletes and non-athletes concerning attendance, academic achievement and GPA

  • Null Hypothesis there will be no difference between athletes and Non-athletes concerning Attendance, academic achievement and GPA.


The purpose of this study is to examine faculty attitudes and stereotypes of athletes at a NCAA Division II school. This study examines prejudice attitudes toward both revenue and non-revenue athletes in areas concerning out of class achievement, admission to the university, reception of full scholarships, and expanded tutoring services. This study took the situational attitude scale (SAS) and rated athletes as follows: a rating of 1 equaling most positive and a rating of 5 equally least positive and including the range in between. Additionally, categorizing of “A” refers to male students (non-athletes), “B” refers to male non-revenue student-athletes (soccer, wrestling), and “C” refers to male revenue student-athletes (football, basketball). The SAS presents ten questions for students concerning professors, attitudes towards student athletes. The results are revealed for both revenue and non-revenue athletes (Baucon.)

This study compares athletes and non-athletes, male, female, white, and black for 93-94, 94-95, 95-96 school years285, 805 students were used during this study from high schools across North Carolina. Paired t-tests were used to determine if there were any differences in grade averages, attendance, discipline referrals, dropout rates, graduation rates for athletes and non athletes. Comparing grade point averages, the analyses of the data in this study revealed that athletes’ GPA was 22.66% higher on the 4.0 scale than that of non-athletes over three year period. Not only did each athlete subgroup have a higher GPA than non-athletic group, but also all four subgroup GPA’s been significantly higher when compared to their corresponding non-athlete subgroups. Attendance rate data supported passed studies; extracurricular activity participants’ attendance rates were significantly higher than those of non-participants. The data in the study revealed that the averages absences, the average number of days missed per year per student in each group, was significantly lower for the athlete group than the non-athlete group. Athletes averaged missing a week and a day less than non-athletes over the course of the school year. Discipline referrals, dropout rate for athletes were significantly lower than non-athletes and graduation rates for athletes were significantly higher then non-athletes throughout this three-year study. The results of this study supports participation in school athletics have a positive effect on the educational achievement of high school students. Thus this study indicates that educational performance of athletes is better than that of non- athletes (Whitley 1999).

Few educators would argue that attendance does not improve the condition of the classroom setting. In fact, educators have argued that benefits can be derived from extending the school year and maintaining a larger period of attendance for children as a means of enhancing achievement (Frazier and Morrison, 1998). As a result, a number of school-based interventions have been proposed in states like California in order to create a system of care for students that focused on attendance to improve student performance (Rosenblatt and Attkinson, 1997). Researchers have recognized that in specialized programs and problematic student populations, consistent attendance can be paramount to the success of these programs (Rosenblatt and Attkinson, 1997).

The extracurricular activity participation studies have been proven to be effective in testing positive factors within overall success of adolescents. These studies have shown higher career aspirations, improved social standing among peers, reduced delinquency, lowered dropout rates, and minimized involvement with drugs. The extracurricular activity participation study focuses on student achievement in extracurricular activities, which is identified as the variable most predictive of success later in life. The subjects who where used where high school students who played soccer. These athletes spent one quarter in-season and one quarter without engaging in another sport. There were 123 students involved (64 were females and 59 were males). They were classified as freshmen (17 students), sophomores (34), juniors (28), and seniors (44). The demographics within the area consisted of 93.8% Caucasian, 1.2% Black, 0.4% Hispanic, and 4.8% representing other ethnicities. The procedure consisted of a participation identification number, sex, grade level, first quarter GPA, second quarter GPA, and absence totals for each of the first two quarters. The results showed participants had significantly higher GPAs in-season than in the off-season. Attendance seemed to be better in-season, but the difference was not significant. Females earned higher GPAs and attendance than did males, and males had significant differences for GPA in-season versus the off-season. This study, as does Laughlin’s (1978) within - group study of high school wrestlers, suggests that participation in athletics does not jeopardize either the academic performance or school attendance of both male and female high school students. Rather students’ academic performance may even be enhanced (Silliker, S. Alan: Quirk, Jeffery T. 1997).

Researchers have also argued, though, that school attendance is not necessarily an issue that can be addressed by educators alone. Recent studies underscore the necessity for parental involvement in improving participation and attendance in children, especially in high-grade levels (Sui-Chu and Willms, 1996). Parental involvement not only improves participation, but also has been associated with increased attendance levels, especially in populations of children in lower socioeconomic levels (Sui-Chu and Willms, 1996).

Marl Rombokas and et. al, who conducted the “High School Extracurricular Activities and College Grades” study, collected their data with anonymous, voluntary, self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaires prompted responses to questions concerning the students’ high school academic and extracurricular encounters. The categories of extracurricular participation were sports, music, dance, theater, other, and no participation. Other data was collected, such as gender, ethnicity, parent’s education level, family structure, and family income. The researchers found that participation in extracurricular activities augments academics and social growth (Rombokas, 995).

In northern California there is a program operating in the high schools, that promotes achievement and classroom attendance through sports. PASS helps athletes achieve more in the classroom, and also increase their performance on the field. PASS has been so effective in the California schools that students that were thought to never be eligible to play sports are participating with school athletics. Joel and Susan Kirsch are the developers of this program, and they designed it to consider self-definitions, personal qualities, and skills to succeed in sports and in the classroom. Through the use of PASS students find weak points in both their sports and in the classroom, and extend them to achieve higher goals. The first major element of PASS is that the student’s focus on what kind of people they are. In this first step the program promotes an arête view of the athlete that stresses excellence and self-transformation in body mind and spirit. The second element of the curriculum is they learn FAM’s (Fundamentals of Athletic Mastery) FAM”S teach concentration, balance, relaxation, power, rhythm, flexibility, attitude, and instinct. The third element requires students to design their own personal project. In this project students set goals such as, making a certain grade in class, or improving on a certain skill level in their sport. Then an individual plan is developed to help the students reach their goals. In addition PASS teaches other skills like reading, writing, oral expression critical thinking and problem solving, planning and collaborative strategies, and personal problem resolution. PASS focuses on creating personal responsibility, initiative, and effectiveness in athletes. Student like PASS because they do not have to choose between schoolwork and sport, but rather view them equally important. Coaches like PASS because they see improvements in the player’s academic performance as well as athletic ability(Griffin 1991.)

In difficult learner populations, including children who attend correctional or mental health facilities, studies have suggested that mandatory attendance often has a positive impact on academic achievement and that this could be utilized as an argument for the same kind of attendance requirements in regular educational settings (Fahsholtz, 1993).

Other researchers have also argued that schooling itself is a positive precursor to improvements in traditional assessments like intelligence testing, and as a result, underscores the notion that school participation can have a positive impact on the overall education ability of a learner population (Ceci, 1991). As a result, theorists have also demonstrated a concern for the approaches taken by educators to improve long-term attendance in learner populations, including the specific use of incentives and reward systems that are based on attendance levels (Martin, 1991).

The “high school and beyond” longitudinal study was designed to compare the success of students who participate in extracurricular activities and students who do not. In the spring of 1980, a sample from over 1,100 schools was taken. Thirty-six seniors and thirty-six sophomores per school were studied. Data was gathered from high school transcripts and questionnaires responses. Students involved in extracurricular activities rated higher in the areas of course credits, hours of homework, test scores, and grade average (Sweet, 1986).

Inactivity is the leading causes of obesity and health problems among Americans. Knowing this, becoming active and staying active befits the body and mind in many ways. The health benefits would include reduction in low-density proteins and improvement in high-density proteins, improvement in metabolism, increased strength, and reduction in sport-related injuries. Moderate exercise has been shown to improve the immune system and maintain a positive attitude longer along with all the other benefits listed above.

This study was conducted using 89 suburban high school seniors (52 females and 37 females). Each participant completed a 181-item Likert-type questionnaire on the following behavioral and psychological aspects of adolescent life. Exercise, adolescent depression, quality of relationships with parents/friends; intimacy, affection and family support from parents were also evaluated. Each area assessed was conducted using the Likert scale evaluation questionnaire.

The results suggested that adolescents in the high-exercise group had better relationships with their parents than did those with low exercise group. The high-exercise group also had a more family support, reported less depression, had a lower drug use and had a higher grade point average (Diego, 2001).

What is the relationship between high school athletics and academic achievement? That is a question that many people and parents today argue about in the school systems. This is what led the author of this article “Athletics and Academics: Are they Compatible?” to do his own study of his high school. The study was to determine the relationship between interscholastic sports participation and academic achievement at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska.

The study consisted of 93 of the 381 juniors and 96 of the 346 seniors were selected for the study. Fifty-one juniors and 49 of the selected seniors were male. The questionnaire consisted of the students name, gender, grade, and the number of high school sports played. Along with the questionnaire the students’ grade point average (GPA), class rank and math GPA (interested by the researchers) were collected and instructed to the students of the complete confidentiality of this study.

The study then divided the groups into four categories; the low participant juniors (LPJ), low participant seniors (LPS), high participant juniors (HPJ) and high participant seniors (HPS). High participants students were the students that participated consistently in at least in one school sport in each year of school. All other students that did not play any sports or tried their freshman year and quit fell into the low participant group. Each four groups were also divided into male and female.

What was found was that the high participants outperformed the low participants groups in all three measurements of academic achievement. The high participant females dramatically outperformed the low participant females and the high participant males also outperformed the low participant males in the three areas of GPA, class rank and math GPA.

This study does show that high participant students can do well in school but it does not show if one causes the other to excel. In closing this study proven that at West Side High School the majority of scholars that attend there play varsity sports at least one season a year or more. (Stephens, 2000)


The methods for this survey are based upon the statistical data found at Thomasville County Central High School in Thomasville, Georgia. The use of a questionnaire survey, observational assessments, and testing outcomes for the athlete and non-student athlete population, as well as notations of attendance by educators will be useful in finding out necessary information in order to create a more accurate conclusion.


The primary population for the questionnaire segment of this study consists of 1,300 students from all classes representing athletes and non-athletes. Students will not be excluded from the study parameters for any reason other than the lack of parental consent.


The sampling for the study requires complicity with participatory guidelines, including a willingness of the schools to allow for the use of these assessments to occur within the classroom settings. As a result, strict school and legal protocols will be followed to conform to confidentiality and assessment requirements. In addition, the educational facilities utilized for the survey have to express a willingness to allow the researcher to evaluate outcomes and discuss protocols for assessments with educational specialists.


The sampling is developed to coordinate the protocols for the study with the necessary subject population requirements. In order to select certain available subjects and allow for more than one assessment session, random sampling is necessary. If the study is found to have a high correlation, the research team would determine if it were necessary to perform the entire study at the school. In addition, it should also be recognized that the process of evaluating the subjects and providing for questionnaire responses would be an element of consideration in evaluating the school’s willingness for participation and administrator responses would be taken into consideration as a part of the selection process.


In order to effectively delineate the subjects based on possible gender or age biases, demographic considerations for this study included:

1. Age

2. Gender

3. Ethnicity

4. Educational standing

5. Socio-economic status


Sampling error can occur if the responses from the surveyed individuals are low and therefore do not represent an accurate account of the population. The fact that random selection cannot be obtained because of the necessary criteria for this study can cause sampling error. Because only a small population of subjects would be used, the issue of sampling error must be evaluated within the scope of the study outcomes. To prevent the sampling error, the research group would perform the entire study on each student Thomasville County Central High School in Thomasville, Georgia.
Sampling bias could occur because of the role the school administrators must play in choosing the subject group. If the administrator chooses someone who will only respond positively, this could cause bias in the sampling.


The research design used in this project is quantitative, and as a result, the use of a statistician to evaluate the data collected is an imperative part of this study. The study requires a comparison of mean, national prevalence and study statistics. Also, at the end of the quantitative section there would be a section available to the student where open-ended questions were asked on a separate sheet of paper. If the student felt it were necessary, he or she could be more specific if they felt that the questions asked were too vague.


The primary instrument used in this study is the schools log/data entry that logs all student information regarding absentees, tardiness, suspensions, in school suspensions.

The secondary instrument for this study is an educational assessment, used by educators and educational technicians to log individual performance relative to attendance records and academic performance.


The following protocols were followed for the primary instrument:

  • The data will be collected by the survey utilizing the Lykert scale with varied questions and an essay section. By promoting varied responses through the instrument, it is the hope of the researcher to bring about the greatest level of response from the athletes and non-athletes. The researcher instructs school personnel to provide as little discussion around the survey as possible. The subjects were also instructed to take the surveys in private settings, and the subjects were allowed to seal their envelopes and return them with privacy.

  • The researcher collects all the data until a sufficient number of responses are received and until it is determined that no other responses would be forthcoming, and two different sessions will be allowed for evaluations of behaviors.

The researcher then discusses the findings with a statistician and creates a document representing the data in a quantitative format that also incorporates data regarding national statistics.


The methods for this study demonstrate the integration of the current literature as a means of understanding the prevalent views on educational assessments and outcomes related to attendance levels of athletes vs. non-athletes. As a result, the methods allow for the integration of more than one data collection devise or instrument and determine the necessity for evaluating both immediate outcomes and long-term perspectives as a component of the study discussion.


This study is based on the use of a number of instruments in order to attain a view of the correlation between student performance and attendance athletes vs. non-athletes in the educational setting. The conclusions drawn from this study should reflect support for the hypothesis, which is that there is a direct correlation between improvements in student athlete’s attendance and gains in achievement outcomes relative to non-athletes.


Baucon, Chris: Lantz Christopher D. Faculty attitudes toward Male Division II Student –Athletes. 266/ Journal of Sport of Sports Behavior. Vol. 24. No 3

Ceci, Stephen (1991, September). How much does schooling influence general intelligence and its cognitive components: a reassessment of the evidence. Developmental Psychology, v27 n5, pp. 703(20).
Diego, M., Field, T., Sanders, C. (2001). Exercise is positively related to adolescents’

relationships and academics. Adolescence, v36 n141, p105

Griffin, Robert (1991, Oct) Helping Athletes Excel in the Classroom - - and on the Field

Clearing House, Vol. 65 Issue 1, p23, 3p

Fahsholtz, Chuck (1993, April). Does mandatory attendance in a correctional institution affect academic achievement? NASSP Bulletin, v77 n552, pp. 100(3).
Frazier, Julie and Morrison, F. (1998, April). The influence of extended-year schooling on growth of achievement and perceived competence in early elementary school. Child Development, v69 n2, pp. 495(23).
Martin, Lloyd (1991, December). Improving student attendance with recognition rewards. NASSP Bulletin, v75 n539, pp. 111(2).
National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, DC: United States Department of Education.
Perlmann, Joel. (1985, December). Who stayed in school? Social structure and academic achievement in the determination of enrollment patterns, Providence, Rhode Island, 1880-1925. Journal of American History, v72, pp. 588(27).
Rombokas, Maryl, Heritage, Jeannette, & West, W. Beryl. (1995) High School extracurricular activities and college grades. Middle Tennessee State University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED391134)
Rosenblatt, A. and Attkinson, C. (1997, March). Educational attendance and achievement. Journal of Child and Family Studies, v6 n1, pp. 113(17).
Silliker, S. Alan: Quirk, Jeffery T. (1997) The Effect of Extracurricular Activity participation on the Academic Performance of Male and Female High School Students (Report No. 0036-6536). School Counselor (Vol. 44 Issue 4, p288)

Stephens, Larry J., Stegman, Mark (2000). Athletics and Academics: Are they

Compatible? Washington, D.C; U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ601187)

Sui-Chu, Esther Ho and Willms, J. D. (1996, April). Effects of parental involvement on eighth-grade achievement. Sociology of Education, v69 n2, pp. 126(16).

Sweet, David (1986). Extracurricular activity participants outperform other students (ReportNo, CS-85-2136). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED379740)
Whitley , Roger L. (1999 May(. Those ‘Dumb Jocks’ are at it again: A comparison of the Educational performances of Athletes and Non-Athletes in North Carolina High Schools from 1993 though 1996. High School Journal, Vol. 82 Issue 4. p223, 11p

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