Term of Award

Spring 2001

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology with an Emphasis in Sport Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Kevin L. Burke

Committee Member 1

A. Barry Joyner

Committee Member 2

Charles J. Hardy

Abstract

Athlete burnout is becoming a major issue in the sporting world, and more research is needed regarding its incidence and associated variables (Fender, 1989). The current study investigated the prevalence of athlete burnout among competitive athletes from youth, high school, and collegiate age groups. Further, the associations between athlete burnout and competitive trait anxiety and perceived control, key variables in the Smith (1986) and Coakley (1992) models of burnout, are explored. The sample consisted of 153 competitive athletes (58 males, 95 females) from three age levels. The Eades Athlete Burnout Inventory (Eades, 1990), Sport Anxiety Scale (Smith, Smoll. & Schutz, 1990), and a modified version of the Control Over One's Sport Environment scale (Tetrick & Larocco, 1987) were completed by 30 youth (ages 10-13 years). 67 high school (ages 14-18 years), and 56 college (ages 18-22 years) athletes. Also, a directional scale was added to the Sport Anxiety Scale on which athletes rated the extent to which items were perceived as helpful or hurtful to performance. Results revealed that overall the sample reported a low incidence of burnout (M = 62.88, SD = 33.67). A moderate to strong positive relationship (r = .645) between athlete burnout and competitive trait anxiety was found as well as a moderate negative correlation (r = -.433) between athlete burnout and perceived control. Youth athletes (M = 28.21, SD = 18.41) scored significantly (p < .05) lower on the EABI than high school (M = 69.66, SD = 21.93) and college (M = 72.95, SD = 39.24) athletes and females (M = 68.89, SD - 37.49) reported significantly (p < .05) higher burnout scores than males (M = 52.19, SD = 22.19). Somatic anxiety was perceived to be helpful to performance (M = 2.50, SD = 12.95) while worry (M = -1.75, SD = 11.34) and concentration disruption (M = -1.01, SD = 8.54) were perceived as detrimental to performance. Implications of results and directions for future research are discussed.

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