Tess Palmateer & Trent Petrie
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology
Participants were 181 sport performance professionals (SPPs); 92 reported being sexually attracted to their athlete-clients (ACs), though few SPPs sought supervision regarding such attractions. In regards to specific behaviors, approximately half reported discussing personal matters unrelated to their work, whereas far fewer had engaged in sexual behaviors with their ACs, such as discussing sexual matters unrelated to their work, and caressing or intimately touching an AC. Common nonsexual boundary crossings (NSBCs) included consulting with an AC in public places, working with an AC at practice, and working with an AC at a competition. Sexual attractions exist and NSBCs occur, thus SPPs need to be trained in these issues to be able to successfully navigate them.
Lay summary: About half of the sport psychology professionals (SPPs) reported being sexually attracted to an athlete-client (AC). Typical boundary crossings included: consulting with an AC in public and private places and travelling with ACs. Therefore SPPs’ should be ethically trained and seek supervision to effectively work with such attractions.