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Stephanie L. Barrett and Trent A. Petrie

Although researchers have examined eating disorders in female athletes, few such studies have been done with athletes who are retired, and even fewer have been quantitative. Thus, the authors empirically tested an established eating disorder theoretical model with 218 former NCAA Division-I female collegiate athletes who had been retired for 2–6 years. In retirement, participants completed measures of general sociocultural pressures related to body and appearance, thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology. Through structural equation modeling, the authors examined the direct and indirect relationships among the latent variables while controlling for body mass index and years since retirement. The model fit the data well, supporting the hypothesized direct and indirect relationships among the variables and explaining 54% of the variance in bulimic symptomatology. Despite no longer being exposed to sport pressures that contribute to eating disorders, female athletes experience such symptoms long into retirement.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Thomas G. Bowman, and Jessica L. Barrett

Clinical education provides the backbone for the socialization process for athletic trainers. It is the chance for students to engage in the role, within a real-time learning environment that allows for not only the adoption of knowledge, skills, and critical decision making, but also the profession’s foundational behaviors of professional practice. Recent criticisms of the current education model, in which the degree is conferred, center on the lack of critical thinking and confidence in clinical practice for newly-credentialed athletic trainers, as many suggest there is concern for the abilities of students to transition to practice smoothly. We offer three areas of focus for clinical education experiences for students (autonomy, mentorship, and feedback), believing this could support the development of independent thinking and confidence in skills. Our discussions are focused on the evidence available, as well as personal experiences as educators and program administrators.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Thomas G. Bowman, and Jessica L. Barrett

The commissioners of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and the Board of Directors of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) have acted to move the professional degree in athletic training from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree. The decision was largely based upon growth of the profession and aligning with the face of healthcare education. Therefore, we wanted to understand the perceived benefits of the graduate model. Using a qualitative paradigm, we electronically interviewed 29 students and faculty members (13 athletic training faculty and program directors, 16 students) currently in Professional Masters Athletic Training Programs (PM ATP). These represented 13 of the 29 (45%) CAATE-accredited PM ATPs. Five themes emerged from the data: (1) engagement and time spent in clinical education allows students to prepare for their roles as athletic trainers, (2) faculty stress the importance of interprofessional education, (3) expecting prior foundational knowledge allows focused education training at the graduate level, (4) increased professional commitment to stay in athletic training rather than use the training/education as a stepping-stone to other career paths, and (5) higher student maturity facilitates deeper learning. Based on these results, the perceived benefits of the PM ATP model are multifactorial.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Jessica L. Barrett, Christianne M. Eason, and Sara L. Nottingham