Date of Award

Summer 6-7-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Monica Browne, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rachel Lella, Ed.D.


Sports participation, Academic achievement, Student engagement, Sense of belonging, SAT, High School Longitudinal Study


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between high school students’ athletics participation, mediated by engagement, and their academic achievement. The study sought to determine if increased athletics participation, and a self-reported increased sense of engagement at school, resulted in higher SAT test scores for high school students. In addition to this, predicators of race and gender were also incorporated into the statistical analysis of the relationship between sports participation and SAT scores. Using the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09), this study analyzed the survey respondents scale of student engagement, participation in organized sports and average SAT reading, math and writing scores. This study utilized the scale of student engagement and participation in organized sports in the base year of the report (2009-2010), and then the student’s average SAT scores in the follow-up report. Through the statistical analyses presented in this study, it was found that sports participation had a positive impact on student SAT scores, meaning that as sports participation increased, students were more likely to score better on the SAT. The same goes for the independent variable of student engagement, though not to the same positive degree of sports participation. This data supports the idea that as students participate more in athletics and increase their engagement at school, they will see benefits in their academic performance.

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