Factors Influencing Retention of Male Athletic Trainers in the NCAA Division I Setting

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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Context:

Social support, autonomy, and job satisfaction are among the factors influencing female athletic trainers' decisions to remain in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I (NCAA D-I) setting, but the male perspective has not been documented.

Objective:

Identify factors that affect male athletic trainers' decisions to remain in the NCAA D-I setting.

Design:

Qualitative study. Participants: 11 male athletictrainers who averaged 6 ± 6 years of NCAA D-I clinical experience, 66 ± 10 working hours per week during the traditional sport season, and 34 ± 5 years of age.

Data collection and analysis:

In-depth, semistructured interviews. Two researchers followed the steps of a grounded theory study and analyzed data independently.

Results:

Two main persistence themes emerged from the data: (1) D-I atmosphere and (2) workplace environment.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that male athletic trainers remain in the NCAA D-I setting because of satisfaction with their employment, which includes a competitive atmosphere, strong coworker relationships, and support from their supervisors.

Stephanie M. Mazerolle is an associate professor and director of the entry-level athletic training education at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include work-life balance, professional and workplace issues, professional socialization, and persistence issues among athletic training students and professionals.

Ashley Goodman is an assistant professor at Appalachian State University. Her research interests include retention factors and career intentions of athletic training professionals.

William A. Pitney is a professor at Northern Illinois University. He is the past editor-in-chief of the Athletic Training Education Journal and is an experienced qualitative researcher and athletic training scholar.