Anticipated Date of Graduation

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences



First Advisor

Douglas Darbro


In the current study, researchers investigate if there is a correlation between the level of athletic motivation in high school students and their academic success in mathematics. Motivation for this study is due to the lack of research in the field of motivation and mathematics. In order to conduct the study, researchers used a modified version of the Sports Motivation Scale which can identify if student-athletes identify with intrinsic, extrinsic, or amotived motivation. Between Coventry High School and Lake Middle High School, 142 student-athletes responded and accurately answered each of the 28 statements on the SMS while stating their grade, race, course, and sport(s). Researchers also had math teachers complete another portion on the modified SMS that asked for student cumulative GPA, as well as, math course semester grade, quarter two overall grade, formative assessment grade and summative assessment grade. Researchers entered all data into an Excel document. In order to answer the primary research question and the additional research questions, researchers used ANOVA, Multiple Regression, and ANCOVA techniques. After running the appropriate data through each test, researchers found interesting results. The current study discovered that if you break down motivation type into the seven different subcategories (intrinsic motivation - to know, intrinsic motivation - to accomplish, intrinsic motivation - to experience stimulation, extrinsic motivation - external regulation, extrinsic motivation - introjection, extrinsic motivation - identification, amotivation) then it is possible to predict academic success in mathematics (F(7, 134) = 2.336, p = .02787). Even more so, researchers found that if students identify with external motivation - regulation, they are likely to have lower academic mathematical success (β = -1.82, p < .05). One model showed that semester course grade could be predicted from the three athletic motivation scores (F(6, 135) = 2.28, p < .05). Researchers found that mathematics course 2 summative assessment grade can be predicted from formative assessment grade, however, motivation type has no effect. This implies that students who put forth more effort on homework, class participation, and other assessments would do better on tests and quizzes. Researchers hope further investigation is done using the SMS when it comes to mathematics education and athletics.

Included in

Mathematics Commons