University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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The Effects of Starting a Family on the Professional Lives of Female Athletic Trainers

Tonya Amann MS, ATC

The non-standard work hours/days and travel requirements of many athletic training positions may cause difficulty when balancing both home and professional lives, as working hours overlap with hours and days customarily reserved for “family time.” The decisions new mothers made regarding their career and home situations after the birth/adoption of a child have not been examined in order to determine how each were affected by the arrival of the child.

To investigate the career and family choices made by female athletic trainers after starting a family and to examine the future intentions of women without children in order to predict how they may act when they start a family.


Subjects received an email inviting them to complete the online survey.

Patients or Other Participants:
A nationally well-distributed and randomly selected sample of 834 female certified athletic trainers.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
An original online survey collected data regarding subjects’ prior career and family choices, or future intentions, following the birth or adoption of a child.

The predictions of future mothers compared closely to those choices made by current mothers, though future mothers desired more family-friendly jobs. Many women are not extending their maternity leave much beyond the FMLA standard of 3 months. Several favorable job qualities and home situations were identified which enabled women to keep their prenatal work positions while also including a family life. These attributes were generally the opposite of typical qualities of many traditional athletic training positions.

The undesirable job qualities of traditional athletic training settings need alteration in order to be compatible with the career of a new mother. The favorable job characteristics that allowed career and family balance should be recognized and promoted in order to optimize the success of female athletic trainers after starting a family.

Key Words:
female athletic trainers, life balance, mothers, career decisions, family