Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Mark D Terjesen

Second Advisor

Marlene Sotelo-Dynega

Third Advisor

Samuel Ortiz


School start times have a significant impact on students’ academic (Keller et al., 2015; Kelley et al., 2017; Lewin et al., 2017), social/emotional (Wahlstrom et al., 2017), and behavioral functioning (Keller et al., 2017). This present study examined the patterns, rationale, and implications for school start times among schools within New York State (NYS). School principals/CEOs completed a survey that included various questions about their school and start times, with additional data collected from the NYS Education Department website. Overall, this study found that a majority of schools in NYS start before 8:30 a.m. Factors rated to contribute most greatly to start times were found to be consistency and bus schedule/transportation. A majority of participants were in agreement with a position statement advocating for later start times, however less than half reported to be likely or very likely to make a start time change. Surprisingly, most principals/CEOs reported having only a little knowledge on sleep and sleep research, and a vast majority of schools do not teach sleep hygiene. There were also some findings with links between earlier school start times and higher suspension rates, an overall higher proportion of economically disadvantaged students, and lower performance on a couple of NYS assessments. This research is an essential addition to understanding school start times, and will hopefully create a greater discussion regarding the importance and benefit of start time change to ultimately increase student well-being and success.

Included in

Psychology Commons