Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Attitude, Sports Participation and Academic Performance of Undergraduate Student-Athletes in Saudi Arabia

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Attitude, Sports Participation and Academic Performance of Undergraduate Student-Athletes in Saudi Arabia

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the literature, the effect of sports participation on academic performance is ambiguous. Many studies found a positive association between competitive sports participation and academic performance. For example, Lipscomb (2007) reported that students' competitive sports participation is associated with five percent increase in Bachelor's degree attainment expectations, while Donnelly and Lambourne (2011) and Kuo-Ming, PengSheng, & Yi-Ching (2012) reported the link between physical activity, cognitive function, and academic performance. Howie and Pate (2012) indicated that physical activity, including competitive sports, positively affect academic results and suggested that further studies should be done in order to scrutinize which kinds of activities and the dose needed to produce an improvement in academic performance. Stearns and Glennie (2010) reported that competitive sports participation in certain kinds of sports mediated the relationship between the availability of sports activity and academic achievements. This means that competitive sports participation affects the academic performance directly. Accordingly, competitive sports participation is viewed as an indicator of several factors such as teamwork ability, self-confidence, and the ability to succeed in competitive situations (Lipscomb, 2007) which play a significant role in improving academic performance as well.

Many other studies reported that involvement in sports activities has a positive effect on students' life in general, such as healthier lifestyle (Omar-Fauzee et. al., 2009) general academic achievements (Lipscomb, 2007) and even reduce the frequency of illegal behaviour (Davis & Menard, 2013). However, not every researcher support the findings that competitive sports participation and academic performance are positively related to one another. For instance, Chuan, Yusof and Shah (2013) suggest competitive sports participation might negatively affect the students' academic performance. Another study by Eide & Ronan, (2001) showed that there is no significant relationship between academic performance and competitive sports participation. Some members of the society believe that competitive sports participation might contribute to negative developments of studentathletes, such as the involvement of drug abuse (Smith et. al., 2010) and violence (S0nderlund et. al., 2014).

The literature suggests that competitive sports participation at the university level is significantly affected by several factors such as the availability of sports facility in the university (Omar-Fauzee et. al., 2009), motivation (Donnelly & Lambourne, 2011) and attitude (Aronson, Wilson & Akert, 2005). Some studies suggest that attitude can be a common element between academic performance and competitive sports participation. Attitude has been reported (Omar-Fauzee et. al., 2009) as an important factor in college students' utilisation of sports facilities and is one of the elements of competitive sports participation. Similarly, attitude is also reported to be a significant factor for academic performance (Bradley & Greene, 2013). Therefore, improving competitive sports participation without jeopardising academic performance might be possible to achieve by modifying student-athletes' attitude.

An attitude can be defined as a positive or negative evaluation of people, objects, event, activities, ideas, or just about anything in an individual's environment, and it can be formed from a person's past and present (Davis & Menard, 2013). The definition was then renewed as a psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favour or disfavour (Eagly & Chaiken, 1998). Structure of attitude was explained for the first time by McGuire (1969) who introduced attitudinal bases theory. It was mentioned that an attitude consists of three attitudinal bases: cognitive, affective, and behavioural. …

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