The Relationship between Intramural Sport Participation, Social Integration, and Institutional Commitment
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Higher education administrators are increasingly scrutinizing budgets and limited resources for the allocation of financial support to all academic and non-academic services, including campus recreational sports. With the current fiscal climate the benefits of campus recreation programs need to be examined and identified in order to remain relevant within post-secondary institutions. The purpose of this quantitative study is to examine the relationship between students’ participation in intramural sports, social integration into the campus community, and institutional commitment. Three hundred and twenty-four intramural participants (N=324) at a Canadian University completed a questionnaire before or after participating in their chosen intramural sport. MANOVA’s, Correlation Matrices, and Hierarchical Regression analyses were conducted, revealing that the quality of intramural participation, consisting of the effort, energy, time, and money a student invests, is a significant predictor of Social Integration into the campus community. Students who are personally invested in their intramural sport participation are more socially integrated into the campus community at their institution. Social integration was not found to be a significant predictor of Institutional Commitment as suggested by Tinto (1993). Future research should explore the relationship between social integration and institutional commitment as identified in Tinto’s (1993) Model of Departure, through the investigation of other contributing factors that lead to institutional commitment.