The College of Education
Announces the Final Examination of
Angela Lynnette Barnes Hargrave
for the degree of
Doctor of Education
November 9, 2015 at 9:00 AM
123 Ball Hall, University of Memphis
Bachelor of Science, Elementary/Special Education, Grambling State University
Master of Science, Educational Leadership, University of Mississippi
Educational Specialist, Curriculum and Leadership, Union University
Larry McNeal, Ph.D., Professor, Committee Chair, Department of Leadership
Reginald Green, Ed.D., Professor, Department of Leadership
Charisse Gulisino, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership
Momodou Keita, Ed.D., Adjunct Professor, Shelby County Schools
Major Field of Study
Leadership and Policy Studies
Period of Preparation: 2011 – 2015
Comprehensive Examination Passed: November 2014
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARTICIPATION IN ATHLETICS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF MALE AFRICAN AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Hargrave, Angela Lynnette. Ed.D. The University of Memphis, December 2015. The Relationship Between Participation in Athletics and Academic Performance of Male African American High School Students. Major Professor: Larry McNeal, Ph.D.
A dramatic gap in the academic achievement of African American males and the academic achievement of Caucasian males across this country continues to exist. African American males fail to complete high school at an increasingly high rate or are ill-prepared for postsecondary education upon completion of high school. The disengagement of African American males in schools has been linked to the continuance of this achievement gap. This study was conducted to investigate the impact on academic achievement that high school athletics had on African American male students who participated in high school athletics against African American male students who did not participate in high school athletics from 2008 to 2012. The foundational theories of this study are Bechtol’s Sports Participation Theory and the Self-Determination Theory, which indicate that participating in athletics has a positive and lasting effect on academic outcomes for students.
The results of this study provide educators and researchers further insight into contributors of the achievement gap and a significant means of improving the educational experiences of African American males. This secondary analysis of existing data was conducted using categorical data, with the independent variables of participation or nonparticipation in athletics and socioeconomic status (SES) being measured against dependent variables of academic achievement. The results were measured by the cumulative grade point averages (GPA), the composite results of the American College Test (ACT) exam, and high school completion type of the African American males who participated in athletics and those African American males who did not participate in athletics while in high school.
The results of this study indicate that participation in high school athletic programs does have a significant impact on the academic achievement of African American males. Results of this study further indicate that athletic participation proved to have a substantial impact on the completion of high school and the cumulative GPAs of African American male students and should be considered an important resource for influencing the academic aspirations of African American males. This study also highlights that SES further impacts the academic achievement of African American males. The findings of this study show that athletic participation should be considered a viable means of engaging African American males and moving them toward high school completion and postsecondary readiness.