High School Athletic Participation and Postsecondary Educational and Occupational Mobility: A Focus on Race and Gender

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 D’Youville College
  • | 2 SUNY College, Brockport
  • | 3 Towson State University
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This study examines the impact of race and gender differences on the social mobility of high school athletes using the longitudinal, panel data of the High School and Beyond study. Regressions of educational and occupational attainment measures on sports participation were estimated for subgroups differentiated by race/ethnic status, gender, and school location (urban, suburban, and rural). It was found that participation in high school sports was most likely to affect the postsecondary status attainment of white males and, to a lesser extent, suburban white females and rural Hispanic females. High school athletic participation had almost no effect on the college-going behavior or educational expectations of black males and females. Interscholastic athletic participation was generally unrelated to postsecondary occupational status and aspirations.

Don Sabo is with the Division of Social Science, D’Youville College, 320 Porter Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201. Merrill J. Melnick is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport, State University of New York, College at Brockport, Brockport, NY 14420. Beth E. Vanfossen is with the Institute for Teaching and Research on Women, Towson State University, Baltimore, MD 21204.

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