The role of achievement motivation in the relationship between athletic and academic achievement

Grace M Hickey, Pace University


The connection between sports participation and academic achievement was investigated with a primary focus on the role that motivation plays in this relationship. Female high school student-athletes, who have been underrepresented in sports psychology literature in the past served as participants. The School Attitude Measure and the Sport Orientation Questionnaire were administered to 70 athletes defined as students who participate in one or more sport programs, and non-athletes defined as students who do not participate in a sports program. Grade Point Averages and Coaches Rating Scales were also employed in this study to determine levels of achievement motivation in academic and athletic areas. A Path Analytic procedure was implemented. Path analysis is a form of multiple regression analysis that uses path diagrams to guide problem conceptualization or to test complex hypotheses. This type of analysis allows one to calculate the direct and indirect influence of independent variables on a dependent variable. Athletic participation and academic achievement were positively correlated (p $<$.01). Athletic Achievement and Academic Achievement were not significantly associated, but athletic achievement was positively related to Sport Motivation (p $<$.05), and Academic Motivation (p $<$.05). Additionally, the athlete group had a significantly higher overall GPA than the non-athlete group (p $<$.01). The rationale underlying this project is an attempt to determine that a positive relationship does, in fact, exist between athletics and academics based upon one's need to achieve in various areas.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Recreation|Physical education

Recommended Citation

Hickey, Grace M, "The role of achievement motivation in the relationship between athletic and academic achievement" (1992). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9217737.



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