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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 9801258, 7 pages
Research Article

Physical Fitness, Grit, School Attendance, and Academic Performance among Adolescents

1Department of Curriculum & Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA
2Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Darla M. Castelli

Received 26 August 2017; Revised 12 November 2017; Accepted 11 December 2017; Published 15 January 2018

Academic Editor: Zan Gao

Copyright © 2018 Jonathan M. Cosgrove et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of grit as a construct representing perseverance to overcoming barriers and the total number of school absences to academic performance (AP) while controlling for sociodemographics, fitness (i.e., PACER), and Body Mass Index (BMI). Methods. Adolescents (N = 397, SD = 1.85; 80.9% females; 77.1% Hispanic) from an urban, minority-majority city in the Southern United States completed the FitnessGram® assessment of physical fitness (e.g., aerobic capacity and Body Mass Index (BMI)) and the valid and reliable short grit survey. The schools provided sociodemographics, attendance, and AP data for the adolescents. Results. Adolescents with higher grit scores (, P < 0.001) and less total absences (, P < 0.001) performed better on AP. Hierarchical multiple regression indicated that grit and absences were associated with AP (β = 0.13, P < 0.01 and β = −0.35, P < 0.001, resp.). Conclusions. Grit and a total number of absences are significant contributors to academic success, particularly among Hispanic adolescents. Further, grit and school attendance may serve as a better measure of protective factors over proximal health measures of cardiovascular health and BMI.