This purpose of this qualitative study was to explore shared characteristics and local challenges of trauma-informed youth sport program design and implementation through the voices of ten program facilitators (e.g., director, trainer; 8 women, 2 men; average age of 36.2 years, SD = 6.03) across four U.S. regions. Within a postpositivist approach and through thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews (average length of 53 minutes), shared characteristics identified by facilitators included promoting a safe and supportive environment, cultivating healthy relationships among adults and peers, and intentional psychological and social skill-building (e.g., attentional cues). Facilitators also explained the importance of understanding the local context to engage youth and develop key strategies to mitigate challenges such as prioritizing the voices of youth involved in their programs, attending to staff needs and providing continual development and training, and collaboration among community partners to support their programmatic efforts. The study findings may be used to inform future research conceptualizing best practices for inclusive youth sport settings and provide added context for facilitators in the development, implementation, and sustainability of the trauma-informed approach.



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