Olinzock, Anthony A.

Committee Member

Adams, James H.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Okojie, Mabel C.P.O.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


The need to lessen the dropout rate for America’s high schools necessitated a search for answers by examining the impact of athletic participation on at-risk high school students. Research supports the contention that benefits athletics for students at-risk of dropping out. However, the majority of empirical research on athletic participation has been conducted on athletes and non-athletes, leaving a gap in regard to at-risk students. The study provides a comparison between athletic participation and non-participation with at-risk students. The goal of this study was to share the findings of an investigation of the impact of athletic participation on at-risk high school students’ academic performance. The academic performances included: standardized assessments, attendance, behavior, and dropout rate. This study sought to compare the criterion-referenced scores of at-risk athletes and at-risk non-athletes, as well as the GPA scores, attendance rates, number of disciplinary referrals, and the dropout rate of the 2 categories of students, using non-experimental research. The major findings of this study revealed that more at-risk non-athletes dropped out of school than at-risk athletes.