Since the 1990s, sports-related concussions have become a public health concern in the youth and adolescent athlete population. After some professional athletes revealed that their retirement was connected to concussions, public awareness of concussions and identifying the need to protect these high school athletes emerged. Between 2009 and 2013, all 50 states in the U.S. passed a state concussion management policy modeled after the Lystedt Act. In July 2012, the New York State (NYS) Concussion Management and Awareness Act went into effect for all students in public and charter schools, with most schools applying their policies to interscholastic sports. This policy - a mixture of requirements and guidelines - is aimed toward raising awareness and providing students a consistent recovery process. However, the guidelines NYS provides school districts leaves room for variation in implementation across districts. This variation in implementation is called policy translation: the creation and modification of the NYS guidelines to fit each schools’ needs. While some of the variation might help accommodate differences among schools, other variation may negatively impact policy effectiveness. The focus of this thesis is understanding the degree and cause of variations in implementation across high school boundaries. Additionally, implications for future policy developments will be discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Brain--Concussion--Law and legislation--New York (State); Child athletes--Wounds and injuries--Government policy--New York (State)--Evaluation; Teenage athletes--Wounds and injuries--Government policy--New York (State)--Evaluation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Public Policy (CLA)


Sandra Rothenberg

Advisor/Committee Member

Qing Miao

Advisor/Committee Member

David Borkholder


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes