Role of athletic coach mentors in promoting youth academic success: Evidence from the Add Health national longitudinal study
Many youth participate in organized sports, with many sports coaches becoming mentors to the young athletes. This research delves into the potential of athletic coaches as mentors in promoting academic success among youth.
The project utilized data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), a nationally representative study that collected data over several years. The study aimed to understand the sociodemographic predictors of access to such mentors, as well as positive outcomes related to having a athletic coach mentor.
Preliminary findings suggest that youth who reported having a coach mentor were more likely to graduate high school and complete college. Additionally, sociodemographic factors played a role in the likelihood of youth acquiring coach mentors. Specifically, youth who were male, White, had higher socioeconomic status, and came from intact biological families were more likely to report having a coach mentor.
The study underscores the potential of athletic coaches as influential mentors in promoting academic success among youth, including graduation. The findings highlight the need to recognize and support the role of coaches beyond just sports training, emphasizing their capacity to impact long-term academic and developmental outcomes. Additionally, the study points to potential disparities in access to coach mentors based on sociodemographic factors, suggesting a need for interventions to ensure equitable access to such mentoring relationships.