The work-life interface has been a much discussed and researched area within athletic training. The National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement on work-life balance highlighted the profession's interest in this topic. However, gaps in the literature remain and include the role of social support and time-based conflict.


To compare work-family conflict (WFC) and social support among athletic trainers (ATs) employed in the 2 most common practice settings.


Cross-sectional observational survey.


Collegiate and secondary school settings.

Patients or Other Participants

A total of 474 (females = 231, males = 243) ATs who were employed in the collegiate (205, 43.2%) or secondary school (269, 56.8%) setting.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Data were collected through a Web-based survey designed to measure conflict and social support. Likert responses were summed. Demographic information was analyzed for frequency and distribution. Independent t tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were calculated to determine group differences. Linear regression was used to determine if social support predicted WFC.


Social provisions and WFC were negatively correlated, and the social provisions score predicted WFC. No WFC differences (P = .778) were found between collegiate and high school ATs even though collegiate ATs worked more hours (63 ± 0.76) during their busiest seasons compared with those in the high school setting (54 ± 0.81, P < .001). Similarly, no difference (P = .969) was present between men and women, although men worked more hours. Our participants scored highest on time-based WFC items.


Work-family conflict was experienced globally in 2 of the most common AT settings and between sexes. This indicates WFC is universally experienced and therefore needs to be addressed, specifically with a focus on time-based conflict. In addition to time-management strategies, ATs need support from coworkers, peers, and family members.

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