College Male Athletes and Locker Room Talk: Clinicians and Researchers Propose Intervention

Suzanne A Brier, Fordham University


This grounded theory dissertation study explored counseling mental health clinicians’ and psychological researchers’ perspectives on what constitutes an effective intervention to mitigate sexist speech and sexual violence among college male athletes. Participants were 20 mental health clinicians and researchers with experience working with survivors of sexual violence, perpetrators, or male athletes. The participants engaged in in-depth, semi-structured interviews, which were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed utilizing a grounded theory methodology. Participants reflected on the topics and activities of an intervention that would be effective in reducing sexist behaviors, reducing defensiveness to an intervention, incentivizing the male athletes to participate, facilitating dialogue, the ideal facilitators, group composition, the recommended duration and frequency of sessions, and measures to assess change. The findings highlighted bystander intervention, a nuanced understanding of consent, willingness to sacrifice social status for one’s values, and interpersonal skills as key components of an intervention. This study’s findings provide a blueprint for potential facilitators to run an intervention group for male athletes in college, methods to test the effectiveness of an intervention, and methods clinicians and psychology professors could use to train individuals to facilitate this type of a group.

Subject Area

Psychology|Womens studies|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Brier, Suzanne A, "College Male Athletes and Locker Room Talk: Clinicians and Researchers Propose Intervention" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30484730.