Sarah Boucher, Psy.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kathi Borden, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Susan Hawes, PhD, Committee Member
  • Theodore Austin, PsyD, Committee Member


repetitive concussion, head trauma, violent crime, professional football, contact sports

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This dissertation explored the relationship between head injury and violent crime among professional football players. This study was particularly focused on determining if the frequency or severity of head injury was related to the severity of violent crime among National Football League (NFL) football players. Additionally, this study explored possible differences in violence severity and concussion history among offensive and defensive positions. Based on information gathered from publicly available archival databases, sixty-three participants were placed into four groups based on their concussion and violent crime histories. Pearson correlations were conducted to determine the relationship between concussion history and violent crime severity. Independent Sample t-Tests were also completed to determine any significant difference in violence severity among participants with and without concussion history; as well as to determine any significant difference in concussion history among participants with and without a violent criminal history. Chi-square analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between National Football League (NFL) position and concussion history, as well as history of violence. An ANOVA was used to compare career lengths of the participants in the four study groups. Results suggest no significant relationship between concussion severity or concussion frequency and the severity of violent crime in participants. Participants with a concussion history but no violent criminal history had significantly longer NFL careers compared to participants in each of the other groups. Although a relationship was not identified in this study, further investigation into the negative outcomes of repetitive head injuries remains crucial. Limitations of the present study are discussed, and recommendations are made for future research.


Sarah Boucher

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0001-9213-6324