Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Bruce Bryant


The purpose of this dissertation was to add to the limited available research concerning the effect that athletic participation has on academic achievement in private schools. For each hypothesis, the independent variables were athletic participation and gender. For the first hypothesis, the dependent variable was academic achievement as measured by the ACT Composite score. For Hypotheses 2-5, the dependent variables were academic achievement as measured by the ACT Reading, Mathematics, English, and Science Reasoning subtests, respectively. Through a review of the literature, the history of interscholastic athletics was examined and the positive and negative effects of athletic participation on academic achievement as well as the impact of both gender and private education on ACT scores were identified.

This causal comparative study was conducted in three states from the Southern region of the United States in seven different private Christian schools, each accredited by the same agency. The researcher randomly chose students by gender and athletic participation.

A 2 x 2 factorial ANOVA was used to analyze the data collected for each of the five hypotheses. The results of this study showed no significant interaction effects between gender and athletic participation for the five hypotheses. Additionally, the main effects for gender and athletics were not significant in any of the five hypotheses, although athletes showed a higher mean score in each hypothesis.

The majority of the studies reviewed revealed different findings compared to this study’s results. Each of these studies revealed a significant difference in academic achievement between athletes and non-athletes. In addition, all of the studies reviewed involved students from public schools. This study provides valuable information to the limited research available on the effects of athletic participation on academic achievement in private schools.

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