Personal trainers' perceptions of role responsibilities, conflicts, and boundaries

Ethics and Behavior 6 (1):55 – 69 (1996)
Abstract
Two hundred twenty eight experienced personal trainers responded to a survey of perceived role responsibilities, conflicts and boundary issues in this emerging profession. Data from a 53-item questionnaire were analyzed by sex, age, and trainers' levels of experience. Findings provide information about why clients are believed to hire personal trainers, degrees of responsibility trainers feel for different aspects of the relationship, common conflicts experienced in this profession, and relationship behaviors considered acceptable or unacceptable. From a number of perspectives, the results suggest that trainers may engage in and take responsibility for behaviors that fall beyond their legitimate domains of competence and influence. These include such activities as giving advice to clients about nutrition, lifestyle, and psychological agendas. Significant differences were observed when results were analyzed by sex, age, and experience level.
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