Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly D. Bradley


This study contributes to the knowledge and understanding of the application of hazing law and response of courts to case law where hazing has been alleged between the years of 1980-2013. This study expands upon the 2009 research conducted by Carroll, Connaughton, Spengler and Zhang, which used a content analysis methodology to look at anti-hazing case law as applied in cases where educational institutions were named as defendants, and the 2002 unpublished dissertation of Guynn which explored anti-hazing case law and its application in cases involving high school students. This study examines all court cases between 1980-2013 where a judicial opinion was written and an allegation of hazing or an injury resulting from hazing occurred.

This study uses content analysis methodology to identify, code and analyze cases and applies analogical reasoning to the case review to 1) examine the breadth of legal cases that occurred between 1980-2013, 2) identify the legal issues most likely to be created by an incident of hazing, and 3) apply predictive analysis for how those issues may impact individuals, organizations, and institutions.

The study identified that legal issues related to 1) tort liability and negligence, 2) allegations of violations of 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, 3) hazing, 4) assault and battery, and 5) Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 were most commonly argued in courts of law following an incident of hazing. A discussion of each area of law and the parameters under which a court would make decisions in this area of law were provided for discussion.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)