A new study published in the journal Youth & Society confirms that participating in high school sports is good for girls -- specifically, female high school athletes are more likely to finish college than girls who didn't play sports.
The BYU researchers examined survey responses collected by the Department of Education from randomly selected female participants in their 8th, 10th, and 12th grade years and again 6 years after high school graduation. Controlling for other factors that could influence girls' educational attainment--including parents’ education, family income, type of school, student expectations, family size, race, high school test scores, college grades and whether the student continued their athletic career at college--the researchers found that former high school athletes were 42% more likely to graduate from college.
The study concludes that given this important benefit, "rather than looking for ways to excuse schools from Title IX compliance, the federal government should join state and local efforts to promote equal athletic opportunities for female students."
Citation: Kelly P. Troutman & Mikaela Dufur, From High School Jock to College Grad: Assessing the Long Term Effects of High School Sports Participation on Females' Educational Attainment, 38 Youth & Society 443 (2007).