Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Donald P Masey, PsyD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Drew A Nagele, PsyD


Recent media attention, lawsuits from retiring athletes, and the early retirement of famous athletes have increased public awareness of sports-related head injuries. High school student athletes are more susceptible to concussions than older athletes. Athletes suffering from concussions may experience long-lasting effects on their lives, particularly in cognitive, emotional, and school functioning. Given the increased rates of concussions and their ramifications, state governments and the federal government have taken action. Beginning with the start of the 2011–2012 school year, the state of New Jersey has implemented legislation that requires all school districts with interscholastic sports programs to develop a written policy concerning the prevention and treatment of sports-related concussions. Since the enactment of this legislation, no research, to date, has been conducted on the attitudes and knowledge base of superintendents and principals regarding concussions and/or concussion law. Results from this study revealed that educators have increased their knowledge regarding the causes of concussions and the physical symptomology of concussions; however, they still lack an understanding of the emotional sequelae associated with them. Additionally, it was found that many school districts are not in compliance with the NJ Concussion Law two years after its implementation. Educators have reported numerous barriers in implementing the law, such as budgetary limitations, staff limitations, and lack of uniformity amongst the 603 school districts. Results from this study could be utilized by the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey as well other associations in order to complete a robust educational program for school educators that would help to fill in the deficits gaps.