Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Diana Julian


The purpose of this dissertation was to add to the existing research concerning the effects of physical activity on academic achievement. The effects by gender of students enrolled in two or more physical activity classes in grades 9-11 versus less than two on academic achievement as measured by the overall composite, English, Math, Reading and Science scores on the ACT for eleventh-grade students were analyzed.

This quantitative, causal comparative study was performed in a rural high school in Arkansas. The high school had an approximate 800 student population of which 20% were categorized as free and/or reduced lunch. The Universal ACT, given to all eleventh graders, was used as the instrument to measure academic achievement. All categories (Composite, English, Math, Reading, and Science) were used for evaluation.

Included in the sample were all eleventh grade students over a two-year period. Approximately 460 students comprised the sample. The students were classified according to their gender and the number of physical activity classes they had taken during their ninth-twelfth grade years. The two categories of the number of physical activity classes were those with fewer than 2 semesters of physical education classes and those with two or more. Since the requirement for physical education courses was one semester, the split divided the students into groups of those who went above the minimum requirement and those who did not.

Five 2 x 2 factorial ANOVAs were used to analyze the data for all hypotheses. No significant interaction effects were observed between students enrolling in two or more physical activity classes and those who did not by gender except in the area of Science. Further, simple effects analysis showed among the students with fewer than two semesters of physical activity, males scored significantly higher on the ACT Science than did females. No significant main effects were observed of number of physical activity courses enrolled through the hypotheses.

Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Copyright held by