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Sociol Sport J. 2005 Jun;22(2):178-193.

Untangling the Links among Athletic Involvement, Gender, Race, and Adolescent Academic Outcomes.

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  • 1Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo.


Although previous research has established that high school sports participation may be associated with positive academic outcomes, the parameters of the relationship remain unclear. Using a longitudinal sample of nearly 600 Western New York adolescents, this study examined gender- and race-specific differences in the impact of two dimensions of adolescent athletic involvement ("jock" identity and athlete status) on changes in school grades and school misconduct over a two-year interval. Female and black adolescents who identified themselves as "jocks" reported lower grades than those who did not, whereas female athletes reported higher grades than female nonathletes. Jocks also reported significantly more misconduct (including skipping school, cutting classes, having someone from home called to the school for disciplinary purposes, and being sent to the principal's office) than nonjocks. Gender moderated the relationship between athlete status and school misconduct; athletic participation had a less salutary effect on misconduct for girls than for boys.

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