School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Judy Sandlin


Academic Achievement, Motivation, Self-Determination Theory, Student-Athlete


Education | Secondary Education


This non-experimental regression study examined the relationship between six motivational factors and academic performance for male high school student-athletes. Research has shown motivation in athletics can have an effect on academic achievement. The study was conducted at six public high schools in the northeast region of South Carolina. The revised Sport Motivation Scale (SMS-II) was the survey instrument used to collect athletic motivational levels of the 10th-12th grade high school male student-athletes (n=140). Academic achievement was measured through overall student grade point average (GPA). Sport type and grade level were statistically controlled in this study making them covariates. The data was analyzed by performing a hierarchical multiple regression. Descriptive data was reported and the strength of relationships determined and discussed. The analysis showed the strength of the relationships between the predictor variables (intrinsic, integrated, identified, extrinsic, and non-regulation) and the criterion variable (GPA). The results of the study suggested that overall motivation did not have a statistically significant contribution to GPA. Despite the fact that the overall model was not significant, there were some findings that suggested student-athletes with strong amotivational tendencies may be less likely to be motivated to achieve high academic scores. Future research is still needed in this area and should focus investigating family structure and socio-economic status among participants and ensuring sufficient and more equal representation amongst all sports involved.