Download Full Text (559 KB)


Poster ID #414


Extra-curricular activities have become the norm rather than the exception at public high schools around the country. Sports are particularly high on the list of the most available activities. While studies have shown that different types of extra-curricular activities generally have a favorable impact on student achievement, this study looks directly at individual sports to find that not all sports are created equally. Looking at Peabody Health Scores from waves one and three of the Adolescent Health Survey, I selected two sports, soccer and basketball, with similar structures and similar representation across class and gender to compare their effects on educational achievement. As such, this study shows that different sports resulting in either a negative or positive effects on achievement, showing that mere involvement in sports does not necessarily equal a positive return. Rather, involvement in one specific sport can see an improvement in scores, while involvement in another shows a negative impact on educational achievement. In addition, I show factor that might impact those who are involved in these sports to explore the possibility of a selection effect. Few of these factors show a significant impact and alone still do not entirely account the opposite effects of soccer and basketball. Further study into the networking of these sports is needed to see if there is an impact from the interactions of those who play these sports that will explain the effect on educational achievement.


The Annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference showcases some of the best student research from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The mentored learning program encourages undergraduate students to participate in hands-on and practical research under the direction of a faculty member. Students create these posters as an aide in presenting the results of their research to the public, faculty, and their peers.

Publication Date


Permanent URL




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



Are All Sports Created Equal?

Included in

Sociology Commons