Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernato

Third Advisor

Joan I. Birringer-Haig


The main purpose of this study was to examine the development and transferability of important life skills through youth participation in interscholastic sports from the perception of coaches and parents. The participating school district in the study was focusing on their vision of a “Portrait of a Graduate” throughout the study. The Portrait of a Graduate composed of pillars, including communication skills, creative, innovative thinkers, life balance, social and emotional intelligence, embrace diversity, problem solving, global citizenship, and rigorous curriculum. These pillars were used to guide the vision that district graduates will become knowledgeable and responsible individuals who will thrive in, and contribute to, their world. Although the classroom environment is a key setting where these important life skills are taught and developed, another setting where these life skills can be developed in youth are through interscholastic sport programs. Through semi-structured coach interviews, a parent survey, and non-participant observations, this study identified important life skills in youth development and whether these life skills are being developed and transferred by youth through interscholastic sport participation. The study supported that the participation in interscholastic sports will enhance the development of essential life skills and will highlight the importance of youth’s transferability of these important life skills to non-sport settings. The results from this study should be used to guide school districts on the importance of implementing a positive youth development (PYD) approach for interscholastic sport programs to effectively enhance the development and transferability of important life skills.

Included in

Education Commons