School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Lisa Foster


Work Ethic, High School, Athletes, Non-athletes


Education | Educational Leadership


This study compared the differences in work ethic dimension scores between high school student-athletes and students who do not participate in athletics. The underlying problem was that there is not enough research in this area and that current available studies provide conflicting information. The purpose of the study was to examine the differences in seven work ethic dimension scores from the Multidimensional Work Ethic Profile (MWEP) between student-athletes and non-athletes. The study used a quantitative, causal-comparative design to examine the differences in the two pre-existing groups. The convenience sample of participants (N = 144) were selected from an available population that makes up the student body of a small, rural high school in Southeast Tennessee. The sample consisted of 84 students who identified themselves as athletes and 60 students who self-identified as non-athletes. The MWEP was administered during normally scheduled classes. The composite work ethic scores were analyzed with a one-way between-subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) which found that a significant difference exists between athletes and non-athletes on work ethic (F(1,141) = 7.226, p = .008, ƞ2 = .049). This allowed the researcher to reject the first null hypothesis. The individual work ethic dimension scores (self-reliance, leisure, morality/ethics, hard work, centrality of work, wasted time, and delay of gratification) were analyzed with a one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) which found no significant difference in work ethic dimensions between athletes and non-athletes (Wilks’ Ʌ = .910, F(7, 135) = 1.902, p = .074, ƞ2 = .090). The MANOVA analysis resulted in a failure to reject the second null hypothesis.