A Phenomenological Approach: Understanding the Experiences of Female Athletic Trainers Providing Medical Care to Male Sports Teams

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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Women in athletic training face barriers when working with male sports teams; the reasons are multifactorial, including traditional sex stereotyping and the social networking of male leaders (i.e., the “old boys club”). The purpose of our qualitative research study was to explore the experiences of women athletic trainers providing medical care to a male athletic team within the collegiate setting. Fifteen female NCAA Division I collegiate athletic trainers working with male sports teams completed telephone interviews. The interpretative phenomenological analysis approach was utilized. Trustworthiness was ensured through peer review, multiple researcher triangulation, and saturation. Participants experienced discriminatory behavior, sexism, and gender bias within the workplace. Though their relationships with student-athletes and coaches were often harmonious, participants experienced sexism and discrimination from the time they were students through their professional careers.

Jessica Barrett, Alicia Pike, and Stephanie Mazerolle are with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Malissa Martin, EdD, ATC, CSCS, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, is the report editor for this article.

Address author correspondence to Jessica Barrett at jessica.barrett@uconn.edu.
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