Monday, May 19, 2008

How much affect does athletics have on children?

Joanne Jacobs writes in Athletes keep winning about a recent study by:

"economists John M. Barron and Glen R. Waddell of Purdue University and Bradley T. Ewing of Texas Tech University who surveyed American males who attended high school in the 1970s. High school athletes went on to complete more years of education and earn more money than non-athletes. Another study by Ewing found that ex-jocks had a smaller but still significant edge over classmates who participated in band, student government and theater but not sports. The results hold up when students with similar IQ scores and standardized test scores are compared: Jocks do better."

Like Joanne I wonder about the cause and effect in this situation. Do children who want to go off to college and work hard on their career tend to be the same children who want to play sports? Or is there something about athletics which encourages children to take school more seriously?

Technorati tags: government schools, public school, public education, education


Kim said...

My first thought was competition and performance stress. Athletes compete frequently. So kids who are likely to be agressive (or assertive--either would work here, I think) would be drawn to sports and would be more willing to get involved in stressful situations in work (like asking for a raising, or tough negotiating). Sometimes people do better in salary because they ask for more and asking for more is not necessarily easy. Or they are willing to live with more risk (and the associated stress) of job-hopping, which can increase your salary.

That would be an interpretation than would take it back to the personality of someone who would do sports for years and years.

It could also be that something about sports teached those types of behaviors.

Correlation is interesting.

Crimson Wife said...

I wonder if the effects are due to differing levels of testosterone? It's been shown that both male and female athletes have naturally higher levels of testosterone than non-athletes. That would also make them more likely to be successful in the dog-eat-dog corporate world...