An Exploratory Analysis of the Impact of Concussions on Female Collegiate Athletes' Susceptibility to Burnout
Keywords:Burnout, Stress, Athlete Burnout, Concussion, Collegiate Athletes, Athlete Burnout Questionnaire
Sport concussions and athletic burnout have received a lot of attention in the sport medicine and psychology literature. To date there have been no studies examining the relationship between sport concussions and athlete burnout even though there is evidence suggesting this may be a unique source of stress for athletes. Previous research has called for more prospective research designs to understand the experience of burnout over the course of an athletic season. The purpose of this exploratory prospective study was to examine whether a history of concussions would affect female collegiate athlete’s feelings of burnout over the course of the season. We also examined all athletes’ ratings of burnout and differences in burnout based on sport team. Sixty-six female collegiate athletes competing in four different sports completed the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (ABQ) at three time points during the season (early, middle, end). There were no significant differences in ratings of burnout between concussion groups, but ratings of burnout changed over the course of the season for all athletes. Emotional and physical exhaustion were rated the highest and peaked during the middle of the competitive season while ratings of reduced sense of accomplishment and sport devaluation continued to increase over the course of the season. There were also significant differences between sport teams as Lacrosse reported the highest feelings of burnout and Gymnastics reported the lowest feelings of burnout at all time points during the season. Suggestions for reducing the experience of burnout are proposed as well as future research.
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