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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology


This study examines the students’ bonds to their school (hereafter referred to as school social bond) in a consolidated rural school and the impact of extracurricular participation in athletics and their school of origin (source school) on that bond. Previous studies have found extracurricular activity participation to be a source of various positive academic and behavioral outcome. This study investigates whether participation in athletics and source school (host, outlying and parochial), also contribute to students’ levels of school social bond in a consolidated rural Minnesota high school. It is hypothesized that participation in school athletic programs provides student athletes with the interaction opportunities that contribute to the development of school social bond. Other variables examined in relation to school social bond include source school, length of residency, grade in school, family structure, parents’ education, and gender. The school social bond of athletes and non-athletes from each of these source schools is also measured. The results from this study confirm the positive connection between school social bond and athletics for the combined student body including the other important variables of gender, family structure and parents’ education. Length of residency and grade in school were not found to be significant predictors of school social bond. The school social bond of students from the host school was not found to be significantly higher than that of the outlying schools. The parochial student’s school social bond found to be higher than that of the source schools. Finally, athletes from each of the three, source school categories host, outlying and parochial demonstrated a higher level of school social bond than non-athletes from their corresponding source schools.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Educational sociology




Number of Pages



South Dakota State University