This thesis examines the effects of athletic participation on grade point averages and self-esteem levels of high school students . This study uses the structural functionalist and the symbolic interactionist perspectives to • analyze these relationships. A questionnaire was distributed to students at Wooster High School, located in Wooster, Ohio. The questionnaire was designed to test three hypotheses: 1.) Do athletes achieve higher academic marks, in general, than non-athletes? 2.) Do athletes in season earn better marks than when they are not in season? 3.) Do athletes have higher levels selfeseteem than non-athletes? The results of this study showed that there were statistically significant differences in grade point averages between athletes and non-athletes. The athletes tended to have higher academic marks. There was no evidence to support the hypothesis that athletes earn better academic marks inseason than they do when they are out-of-season. Finally, it was found that athletes had a higher level of self-esteem than their non-athletic counterparts, but not to a statistically significant level. For future research, comparisons between schools that differ on factors such as curriculum, student/teacher ratios, and degree of participation may be beneficial.


McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1994 Brett S. Beech