Motivation for Sports and School Go Hand in Hand for Adolescent Athletes

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.

Adolescent athletes with high motivation for school also have high motivation for sports. Male students tend to be less interested in school than their female peers, a new study from Finland shows.

Successfully integrating elite sports with education requires motivation to commit oneself to both domains. In Europe, the EU has instructed its Member States to formulate and adopt national guidelines on dual careers of athletes. Sufficient policy actions are needed in support of combining elite sports with academic education. In Finland, for example, talented and elite adolescent athletes have the opportunity to complete their upper secondary education in special sports upper secondary schools, which offer equal competitive sports opportunities for both genders and often specialize in multiple sports.

A new study conducted among nearly 400 adolescent athletes in Finland examined the development of, and gender differences in, their task values for school and sports across the upper secondary school years. The students were aged 15-16 at the beginning of the study, and they were all completing their upper secondary education in a sports upper secondary school. They were followed four times during their upper secondary school years.

The researchers found that the task values for school and sports among the students were strongly related to each other. Students with high motivation for school also had high motivation for sports. On the other hand, students with lower motivation for school struggled to maintain their motivation for sports, too.

The results showed that male students’ school-related task values were lower than female students’ task values at the beginning of upper secondary school and that the gender differences remained across the school years. However, no gender differences were found in the students’ motivation for an athletic career.

The study was supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and led by Adjunct Professor Tatiana V. Ryba at the University of Jyväskylä.

Source: ScienceDaily

Help us reach the next generation of families

Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)