Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

College of Education and Human Sciences

Committee Chair

Frances L. O’Reilly

Commitee Members

Patty Kero, John Matt, Dusten Hollist, Travis Dorsch


Academic Self-Efficacy, Adulthood, Functional Independence, Intercollegiate athletics, Parent Involvement, Student-athlete


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Educational Leadership


Parental involvement in student- athletes’ lives is ubiquitous and important. Despite efforts of many to determine the best means for student-athletes to succeed academically, little is known about the relationship between levels of parent involvement and an athlete’s ability to succeed academically. Having an involved, but not over-involved, parenting relationship is key to having their children develop the necessary academic skills to be ready for the realm of collegiate athletics.

The purpose of this non-experimental quantitative analyses of NCAA Division I student-athletes in the Big Sky Conference was to examine the relationship (if any) among parental involvement, academic performance, academic self-efficacy, functional independence, and the achievement of adulthood criteria. Participants included four hundred and sixty-one student-athletes from a population of 3,000 representing ten different institutions.

An independent t-test was conducted to explore the difference between student-athletes’ GPAs with a high and low amount of parental involvement. Findings revealed no statistically significant differences between a high and low level of involvement and student-athletes’ GPAs. Three non-parametric Spearman Rho tests were employed to determine the relationship between parent involvement and academic self-efficacy, functional independence and the achievement of adulthood criteria. Findings revealed a positive, and strong or medium correlation among all three tests. Further analyses through three one-way ANOVAs indicated that student-athletes with the highest level of parent involvement had the lowest GPA’s and student-athletes with a medium amount of involvement had the highest GPA’s. Additionally, student-athletes with the highest academic self-efficacy had the highest cumulative GPA’s.

Future studies should include a random sample that contains a more diverse representation of student-athletes with below a cumulative 3.0 GPA. Future studies should also use a mixed methods approach with parents that include further analyses of involvement.



© Copyright 2018 Grace Harris Gardner