School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Amy Jones


Academic Self-Efficacy, Emotional Self-Efficacy, Middle School, Physical Sports, Self-Efficacy, Social Self-Efficacy


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education


Self-efficacy is well known as one of the most effective methods to raise student academic achievement (Hattie, 2007). Known as the “I think I can” phenomenon, extensive research is presented concerning the impact of self-efficacy as the predictor to achievement. Likewise, participation in physical sports is known for its impact on academic achievement, as well as social and emotional health. The purpose of this correlational study was to determine the presence of a statistically significant relationship between the level of participation in physical sports activities and the middle school students’ self-efficacy. A convenience sample of 69 seventh and eighth grade students from three middle schools in Kentucky participated in the study through an email survey containing both survey instruments. The four null hypotheses were tested through Pearson correlations to describe the direction and strength of the relationship between the self-reported participation in sports using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children, and self-reported levels of self-efficacy, as measured with Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children. The research supported the importance of students being given a variety of opportunities to participate in physical sports activities as a method to build academic, social, and emotional efficacy. Additional research would be useful exploring how the predictive value of participation in physical sports is affected by ethnicity and socio-economic status.