Date of Conferral





Health Services


Kimberly Dixon-Lawson


Experiences of Youth Recreation Sport Organizations' Administrators with Implementation of Maryland Concussion Law


Donelle Damali Ainsworth-McKenna

MHSA, The George Washington University, 2004

BS, Morgan State University, 2000

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Health Services

Walden University

September 2015

There have been statewide concussion policies implemented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to address the problem of sports-related concussions in youth athletes. The efforts to implement the requirements of these laws have mainly focused on high school athletics, despite evidence that pre-high school youth athletes who participate in organized community sports through recreation sport organizations are sustaining concussions at a similar rate as high school athletes. Thus, this study explored the implementation of the Maryland concussion law in youth sports recreation organizations in Laurel, Maryland that serve pre-high school youth athletes aged 5-14 years. A qualitative approach was utilized to conduct this study. Administrators of such youth sports and recreation organizations were interviewed to answer the central research question about how the Maryland concussion law is being implemented in youth sport recreation organizations in the state. The diffusion of innovations theory was the theoretical framework used to guide this study as well as to explore barriers to and facilitators of implementing this policy. NVivo software was used to analyze the data, and the results identified concussion training, guidelines, resources, and policing as integral to implementation of the policy. These findings can be used to inform policies, implementation, and best practices for this policy. Thus the individual and community implications for positive social change include behavior change to prevent, identify, and manage concussions in youth athletes to reduce the potential impact of concussions in youth athletes.

Included in

Public Policy Commons