'Is The Relationship Between Passion and Athletic Burnout Explained By Levels Of Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction?'
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Athletic burnout symptoms of physical and mental exhaustion, sport devaluation and reduced sporting accomplishments are detrimental to athlete well-being (Cresswell & Eklund, 2005). In an attempt to prevent the occurrence of athletic burnout, understanding the antecedents of burnout is vital. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between passion (harmonious and obsessive; Vallerand et. al., 2003) and athlete burnout, and whether these relationships are mediated by basic psychological needs. Research has identified that through the internalization process, passion may predict burnout (Tassell & Flett, 2007), and passion can also be regulated by the perception of needs satisfaction, and ultimately influence burnout (Vallerand et. al., 2003, Deci &Ryan, 2000). Using the framework of the Dualistic Model of Passion (Vallerand et. al., 2003), two types of passion have been proposed; harmonious and obsessive, both thought to lead to different cognitive and affective responses that may pose a risk of athlete burnout (Vallerand et. al., 2003 study 2). The current study used a quantitative approach to examine one hundred a twenty competitive athletes (m= 21.95, SD= 5.67) from 21 different sports. Participants completed the Passion Scale (Vallerand et. al., 2003), Basic Psychological Needs in Sport Scale (Ng et. al., 2011), and the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (Raedeke & Smith, 2001). Results revealed that passion; harmonious (-.459) and obsessive (-.534) reduced sport devaluation and had no relationship with the exhaustion and accomplishment components of burnout. Psychological needs satisfaction did partially mediate the passion-burnout relationship, which resulted in a greater reduction in sport devaluation. Further, contrary to expectations, passion was identified to reduce burnout by lowering the perception of sport devaluation. Additionally, needs satisfaction reduced symptoms of burnout further. Due to the dynamic nature of athlete burnout (Cresswell & Eklund, 2006) future research would be recommended to explore the passion-burnout relationship with a longitudinal and qualitative approach to improve the validity of the research findings.
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