Research conducted in traditional and non-traditional settings remains essential to understanding behaviors and attitudes among diverse populations. The effective preparation of research assistants is essential in order to conduct ethical research and ensure safety for the participants and those conducting the research. One such example pertains to examining the behavior of men who have sex with men (e.g., gay, bisexual, other MSM) within bathhouse settings. Semi-structured interviews were conducted among six graduate students and alumni examining their overall interest in conducting research as well as their thoughts and feelings prior to, during, and after collecting data at a gay male bathhouse, and the overall impact upon their professional growth and development. Thematic findings centered around conducting research within a bathhouse setting, navigating personal feelings and reactions, and strengthening connections between personal and professional selves, among others. Implications for effectively training and preparing student research assistants to conduct data collection with unique and non-traditional settings will be examined.


Research Assistants, Non-Traditional Settings, Training, Gay Men, Bathhouse

Author Bio(s)

Michael Lloyd is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Lewis University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: lloydmi@lewisu.edu

Hayley Stokar is an Assistant Professor of Social Work in the Behavioral Sciences Department at Purdue University Northwest.

Michael P. Dentato is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.

Brian L Kelly is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.

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