Recent work has suggested that masculinist sport subcultures (e.g., Young & White, 1995) and “conspiratorial” sports organizations (Nixon, 1992a) foster the acceptance of pain and injury by athletes. Using semistructured interviews, this study examined the experiences and beliefs of 22 student athletic trainers at a large university. The study found that student athletic trainers had conflicting alliances to student athletes and to staff trainers, held competing beliefs about athlete pain and injury, and struggled with athletes who did not properly use health care services and advice. It is recommended that future studies focus upon processes of negotiation and conflict, that more attention be directed to medical treatment of injured women athletes, and that recommendations to change medical services for athletes await further research.
Stephan R. Walk is with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at California State University-Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92634-9480.