Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physical Education


The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of participants toward their experience of the interscholastic athletic program at the Brookings Middle School, in Brookings, South Dakota. This involved a comparative analysis of reactions to questionnaire items to determine the influence of sex and grade level on attitudes toward the athletic program. The questionnaire was designed to investigate attitudes in three areas: 1 the initial motivations which led the student to participate in athletics; 2 ways in which the actual athletic experience coincided or contrasted with the student’s expectations; and 3 the place of athletics in each student’s value system. In general, members of both sexes and grade levels reacted positively to statements which were supportive of the program, and negatively to those statements that were critical of the program. A high percentage of students (approximately 70%) indicated that their parents encouraged them to participate in athletics, and that they believed that their parents were proud of them because they were in athletics. Peer group pressure and popularity were found to have little influence on the level of athletic participation. Female and seventh grade students did not feel that their experience or their performance in athletic paralleled their pre-season expectations to the degree that it did for the males and eighth grade students. In the eyes of the students, participating in athletics enabled them to feel better about themselves. A large percentage of students believe that athletics was an important part of their educational experience and would continue to have high priority throughout their adult life.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Brookings Middle School (S.D.) -- Athletics

School sports -- South Dakota -- Brookings

Students -- Attitudes

Brookings (S.D.) -- Schools



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University