It is shown that transitive 1-factorizations of arc-transitive graphs exist if and only if certain factorizations of their automorphism groups exist. This relation provides a method for constructing and characterizing transitive 1-factorizations for certain classes of arc-transitive graphs. Then a characterization is given of 2-arc-transitive graphs which have transitive 1-factorizations. In this characterization, some 2-arc transitive graphs and their transitive 1-factorizations are constructed. Crown Copyright (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.