Term of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jonathan N. Metzler

Committee Member 1

Daniel R. Czech

Committee Member 2

Samuel Y. Todd

Abstract

Burnout has become to be regarded as a debilitative problem for athletes, but individual differences that may provide a buffer to burnout characteristics have only partially been examined. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible association between optimism, trait confidence, need for achievement, gender, and years of competitive experience and symptoms of burnout in collegiate tennis players. Four inventories were used to assess the 86 collegiate participants (47 men, 39 women): the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (ABQ; Raedeke & Smith, 2001), the Trait Sport Confidence Inventory (TSCI; Vealey, 1986), the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R; Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994), and the Need Achievement Pride Scale (NAPS; Metzler, 2007). Participants were from universities located across the United States. Results indicated that an association existed between optimism and trait confidence and symptoms of burnout. Significant variance was explained for the burnout subscales of emotional/physical exhaustion (R² = .208, S.E. = 3.14), reduced sense of accomplishment (R² = .469, S.E. = 2.33), and sport devaluation (R² = .281, S.E. = 3.43). Optimism provided significant contribution to the emotional/physical exhaustion and reduced sense of accomplishment subscales. Trait confidence provided significant contribution to the reduced sense of accomplishment and sport devaluation subscales. It 1 was also found that need for achievement and years of competitive experience each provided significant contributions to a single subscale of burnout.

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