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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Football Success Affects Student Achievement

According to a study published in the October issue of American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 4(4): 254-74, students study less and party more when their football team wins—and a successful season on the gridiron significantly reduces the grades of male students relative to females.

Lindo Jason and colleagues found, among other things, that:
  • Twenty-four percent of males reported that athletic success either “definitely” or “probably” decreased their study time, compared with only 9 percent of females.
  • Male grades fell significantly with the success of the football team, both in absolute terms and relative to females.
  • Forty-seven percent of males reported increased partying when the team won, compared with 28 percent of females.
  • Females whose GPA’s increased with the success of the football team—including those with low ability, those with high financial need, and African-American students—were less likely to drop out of college after a successful season. (The researchers could not determine whether that was a result of their improved academic performance, or by more direct effects of the team’s success.) The study found no evidence that football success had any impact on males’ dropout behavior.
  • Female students were slightly more likely than male students to indicate an increased tendency to miss class associated with a win. However, the result was not significant, the researchers said.
  • Some 40 percent of female students, and more than 50 percent of males, watched 10 or more games out of 12 during the 2010 season.

Excerpts from an article written by Brad Wolverton, published in The Chronicle

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