Date of Graduation
Recent research has incorporated achievement motivation theories in an effort to understand athlete burnout. One such theory receiving attention is Deci and Ryanâ€™s (1985) Self-Determination Theory. This theory has been shown to have utility in examining burnout among adult-aged athletes (Cresswell & Eklund, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c), however, it has yet to be used within a youth athlete population. This is a dearth of research that has investigated sport burnout among young athletes. Further, research has suggested that motives for sport participation and discontinuation may vary among athletes of different age groups. Therefore, the purpose of the present study were to (1) assess the utility of SDT and Coakleyâ€™s (1992) unidimensional identity model in explaining burnout among youth sport participants, (2) examine developmental differences in the burnout experience, and (3) assess the psychometric properties for modified burnout, motivation, and athletic identity inventories for a youth athlete sample. Participants included 177 youth swimmers that comprised 7-10 years (n=45), 11-14 years (n=87), and 15-17 years (n=45) developmental age-groupings. All swimmers completed measures assessing their burnout, motivation, athletic identity, athletic competence, enjoyment, social constraints, and autonomy. Structural equation modeling revealed a model that approached adequate fit indices and accounted for 70% of the variance in youth burnout. MANCOVAs and ANOVAs revealed that burnout was significantly greater in high school-aged children compared to the two younger groups (Wilksâ€™ Î› = .86, F (6, 324) = 4.22, p < .001, Î·2=.07) on both the exhaustion and reduced accomplishment subscales. Age group, enjoyment, social constraints, athletic identity, and motivation all emerged as constructs that appeared to impact burnout among swimmers. Results generally supported the use of SDT and Coakleyâ€™s model in understanding youth sport burnout while highlighting the importance of accounting for developmental differences. Results also provided preliminary psychometric support for the revised measures for a youth athlete population.
Harris, Brandonn Scott, "Developmental considerations in athlete burnout: An exploratory cross-sectional investigation in youth sport participants." (2008). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8996.