Master's Theses

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access

Date of Award

Summer 2002

Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S)


Advanced Education Programs


Richard P. Schellenberg


This research examined two questions concerning athletic burnout symptoms. The first question involved examining the extent to which athletes use certain types of coping strategies to cope with athlete burnout. The second question involved examining the effectiveness of the strategies that athletes use to cope with their burnout symptoms. One hundred thirty nine student athletes from a small Midwestern university responded to the self-report questionnaires that asked them to identify a time period when they experienced athletic burnout symptoms, and to indicate how they coped with these symptoms. The majority (84%) of the athletes reported experiencing symptoms of athlete burnout. Of 14 measured coping strategies, athletes reported using the following 11 strategies to a medium extent for coping with their burnout symptoms: acceptance, active coping, self-distraction, positive reframing, using emotional support, using instrumental support, humor, planning, religion, venting, and self-blame. Athletes reported using substance use, behavioral disengagement, and denial only a little bit for coping with symptoms. Measures of effectiveness included effectiveness ratings and the number and duration of athlete burnout symptoms. All three of these effectiveness indices indicated that the athletes found venting and humor to be ineffective strategies for coping with their burnout symptoms. To a lesser degree, the results evidenced that planning and self-blame were also ineffective strategies for coping with these symptoms. Finally, results on two of the three indices of effectiveness suggested that the use of positive reframing was an effective strategy for coping with symptoms of athlete burnout.


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Copyright 2002 Gavin K. Thorn

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