Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Roth, Gene L.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Athletic trainers--Professional ethics--United States; College sports--Moral and ethical aspects--United States


In the world of Division 1A collegiate athletics, there is great potential for the occurrence of unethical behavior. Certified athletic trainers, key members of the staffs in Division 1A departments of athletics, are exposed to and manage many of the ethical situations that arise as it relates to student-athlete health. This study investigates the ethical development of certified athletic trainers employed in the Division 1A setting. Qualitative methods are utilized to examine the experiences of several athletic trainers, coaches, and administrators at multiple Division 1A universities. Semistructured, open-ended interviews are conducted with each participant. The interviews were tape recorded for later transcription and coding. Research memos were kept which recorded researcher impressions of the interviews and follow-up discussions with the participants. Member checks, triangulation, and a peer review were conducted to assist with trustworthiness of the results. The results suggest that Division 1A athletic trainers are exposed to three common themes of ethical situations encountered. These situations include the business of winning, protection of student-athlete privacy, and unequal sports medicine practice. Additionally, five key factors played a role in learning to manage ethically challenging situations. These five factors include personal values, personal athletic training mission, job experience learning, intercollegiate athletic culture, and individual situations. Reflection upon these factors enhanced personal ethical growth in the participants interviewed. This study has implications for the continued ethical growth of certified athletic trainers working in the Division 1A setting.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [104]-110).


v, 123 pages




Northern Illinois University

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