Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Douglas J. Casa, Craig Denegar

Field of Study



Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Work-Life Balance Perspectives of NCAA Division I Male Athletic Trainers: Positive and Negative Influences

Trisdale W*, Mazerolle SM*, Goodman A†, Eason CM*: *University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; †Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Context: Athletic Trainers (ATs) not only have to manage their responsibilities in the workplace, but also those associated with their personal and family lives. This is referred to as work-life balance (WLB). Long work hours, inflexible work schedules, travel, and coaches’ expectations have all been found to be major contributors of work-life imbalance especially at the NCAA Division I clinical setting where performance expectations are high. Organizational factors receive much attention in the literature, however other factors such as gender have been suggested as facilitators as well. Demographic data has demonstrated a decline in female ATs after age 28 thus most WLB research in athletic training is centered around females. WLB issues have been found to influence attrition for the male AT in this setting as well, warranting future study. Objective: Determine factors that negatively affect WLB among male ATs working in the NCAA D-I clinical setting and strategies they use to create a balance in their personal and professional lives? Design: Mixed-methods study. Setting: NCAA D-I collegiate setting. Patients or other Participants: Twenty-two Board of Certification certified male ATs (10 single, 5 married, 7 married with children) working in the Division-I clinical setting with 10.5 + 7.68 years of experience. Data collection and Analysis: Participants responded to a series of close and open-ended questions on QuestionPro™. Data source, multiple analyst triangulation, and peer review were used to establish data credibility. Data was analyzed following a general inductive approach. Close-ended data consisted of 7-point Likert Scale questions related to finding and maintain WLB. Results: Two major categories emerged: 1) Positive and 2) Negative influences on WLB. Positive influences were divided into: 1) time away and personal time, 2) separation, and 3) support networks. Time away included the utilization of vacation time whereas separation highlights the ability to delineate between professional and personal roles essentially leaving work at work. The main support network mentioned by participants was administrative/supervisor support. The negative influences on WLB consisted of 1) time of year, 2) spouse and family needs, and 3) demands of the profession. Time of year demonstrated challenges faced during different competitive seasons. Demands of the profession include hours worked, travel requirements, practice/competition schedule and workload. Spouse and family needs demonstrated the challenges males face balancing their personal roles. Likert Scale data revealed work demands interfere with home/personal life and ATs often miss important non-work events due to their job responsibilities. Conclusion: Male ATs working in the Division-1 setting are able to identify factors that inhibit work life balance and also factors that help maintain a balance. Identifying the sources of conflict and strategies used to help mitigate imbalance can help create an organizational strategy for a more balanced lifestyle. Count: 449

Major Advisor

Stephanie M. Mazerolle