Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

Document Type



This study investigated the effects of selected predictor variables of academic achievement on the academic performance of student-athletes at Louisiana State University. This study attempted to identify cognitive and noncognitive variables that might explain the variance in the cumulative college grade point average (GPA)among student-athletes at LSU enrolled during the 2003-04 academic year. Cognitive variables included ACT composite score, high school GPA, and cumulative college GPA. Noncognitive variables included positive self-concept, support of academic plans, and community involvement. In addition, data were collected for two sport variables--type of sport participation (revenue and non-revenue generating sports) and time spent on sport (in hours per week). These data were analyzed using a stepwise regression method for student-athletes as a group, as well as by subgroups of gender, race, and academic classification level (freshman, upperclassmen). In addition, follow-up interviews were done with selected student-athletes to provide insight into the experiences that student-athletes encountered as a result of their dual roles as students and student-athletes. The results of this study indicated that high school GPA, ACT composite score, gender, and academic classification level accounted for 55 percent of the variance in student-athletes' cumulative college GPA. High school GPA was the most effective single predictor variable of student-athletes' cumulative college GPA. In subgroup regression analyses, a different combination of cognitive and noncognitive variables explained most of the variance for each subgroup. Time spent on sport was significant in regression equations for whites, males, and upperclassmen student-athletes. Type of sport participation was significant for black and all freshman student-athletes. Support of academic plans was significant for all female and black student-athletes. The results of this study suggest that, in addition to the cognitive variables, the noncognitive variables accounted for additional variance in college cumulative GPA in the subgroup analyses. Moreover, student-athletes identified time constraints, feeling fatigued, and financial concerns as challenges encountered in their dual roles as students and student-athletes. These various experiences of student-athletes should be considered when developing academic support strategies designed to improve their academic performance.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Terry Geske



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