Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Williams, Frankie K.

Committee Member

Armstrong, Christopher

Committee Member

McMullan, Leigh Ann

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


With the rapid and steady growth of athletic participation, it is important that student athletes excel in the classroom and on the playing field. However, as the pressures of being a high school athlete grow, educators must seek better ways of supporting student athletes and help them understand the importance of their education. The purpose of the study was to determine if male students who participated in athletics had higher academic achievement mean scores than male students who did not participate in athletics. The study focused on measuring the cumulative grade point averages (GPAs), Algebra I end-of-course (EOC) test scores, and English II end-of-course (EOC) test scores for all male students. A causal-comparative research design was used to examine the differences in the academic performance of the male students who participated in high school athletics and those who did not participate. The research study was conducted using existing data from three high schools in Mississippi for 234 male high school students. There were 118 non-athletes and 116 athletes. Findings from the study revealed there were no statistically significant differences in cumulative GPAs, Algebra I EOC mean test scores, and English II EOC mean test scores for athletes and non-athletes. However, there was a statistically significant difference between African American male students and White male students for the mean scores of the cumulative GPAs and English II EOC test scores. The findings of the study revealed academic achievement was not affected by athletic participation. Recommendations for future research include conducting focused research on African American males and other minority groups and the implementation of high school academic support programs for student athletes.



athletic participation||academic achievement||male students||end of course test||cumulative GPA