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A qualitative analysis of burnout in elite Swedish athletes
Stockholm University.
2008 (English)In: Psychology of Sport And Exercise, ISSN 1469-0292, E-ISSN 1878-5476, Vol. 9, no 6, 800-816 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To extend the understanding of burnout in elite athletes, including personal experiences and perceived antecedents. Design and Methods: Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 Swedish 22- to 26-year-old elite athletes who had quit sport due to burnout. The interview transcripts were inductively analyzed using qualitative content analysis, Results: The findings support the notion of athlete burnout as a multidimensional syndrome. While stressors like multiple demands. ""too much sport,"" lack of recovery and high expectations were considered primary causes of burnout by the respondents, high motivation, unidimensional athletic identity. self-esteem strivings, high ego goals, negative perfectionist traits and feelings of entrapment were also found to be critical contributors. These restraining factors explained why the athletes continued their participation in sport despite a progressive worsening of their condition, and are therefore potentially crucial in the development of burnout. Conclusion: Athlete burnout appears to be it complex interaction of multiple stressors, inadequate recovery and frustration from unfulfilled expectations, which is explained partly by maladaptive perfectionist traits and goals. This process is fuelled by a strong drive to validate self-worth, sometimes in conjunction with feelings of entrapment. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 9, no 6, 800-816 p.
Keyword [en]
athlete identity, motivation, overtraining, recovery, self-esteem
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-57873DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2007.11.004ISI: 000259714300008OAI: diva2:419002
authorCount :4Available from: 2011-05-25 Created: 2011-05-23 Last updated: 2011-05-25Bibliographically approved

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