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Side effects of being tired: burnout among Swedish sport coaches
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Idrottspsykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2869-8995
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Sidoeffekter av trötthet : utbrändhet hos svenska idrottstränare (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Burnout is a psychological concept that have got much attention since it was first defined in the middle of the 1970s. Although the definition of burnout differ there is consensus about exhaustion as the most important part of the concept. Burnout have also been in focus in sport psychology research. Mostly athletes have been studied but interest the coach profession have also been of interest. Research on coach burnout have mostly been directed towards demographic variables, organizational issues, behaviors and emotions and more holistic perspectives covering larger models or theories.

The aims with this thesis was to try to fill some of the knowledge gaps from earlier coach burnout research with three studies. Study 1 aimed to study subjective experiences associated with perceived causes and symptoms of burnout and the subsequent recovery process. Eight elite soccer coaches who previously had been troubled with high scores of the exhaustion was interviewed. We found two burnout profiles that matched the coaches’ perceived causes of burnout. The first was associatedwith problems in handling the performance culture itself and the second had to do with the overall situation, including workload, family and health. Our findings describe coach burnout as stemming from a combination of issues, related to both home and work. When combined with work overload, coaches who have problems handling the performance culture in elite sports, and who lack the tools to enhance recovery, are particularly vulnerable to burnout.

Study 2 focused on evaluating three self-report burnout measures that are available for researchers to use. Our analysis included Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) and Coach Burnout Questionnaire (CBQ). The main findings were that there are psychometric problems with all three measures and that MBI and OLBI cover similar definitions of burnout and CBQ cover somewhat different dimensions. Of the three methods that were tested CBQ seem to be most suitable for the coaching context. However, CBQ also have several problems and other burnout measures need to be evaluated in the coach context.

Study 3 focused on the associations between workaholic tendencies and combining coaching job with having a family or a spouse, which can be a stressor since the work situation and family situation can be hard to combine. The main findings were that work seem to interfere more with family life than family life interfere with working live. Further workaholic tendencies and exhaustion was not associated.

When interpreting the aggregated results from the thesis there are two main findings. First, the way coach burnout has been measured until now is unsatisfying. Although the development of a coach specific measure (CBQ) is promising, further development is needed, both when it comes to the theoretical aspects of the burnout construct and psychometric issues. Second, the symptoms and perceived causes in coach burnout is highly individual and makes burnout a very personal experience. Future research should focus on both the origins as well as the measurement of thisdetrimental concept.

Abstract [sv]

Utbrändhet är ett psykologiskt begrepp som har fått mycket uppmärksamhet sedan den först introducerades i mitten av 1970-talet. Även om synen på vad utbrändhet är skiljer sig åt finns en enighet om att utmattning är huvudsymptomet. Utbrändhet har studerats inom idrottspsykologisk forskning sedan början av 1980-talet. Mestadels har intresset legat på idrottare men intresse har också riktats mot tränaryrket. Forskning om tränares utbrändhet har främst intresserat sig för demografiska variabler, organisationens påverkan, beteenden och känslor samt mer övergripande modeller eller teorier som täcker flera områden. Syftet med denna avhandling var att försöka fylla en del av de kunskapsluckor som funnits i tidigare forskning med tre studier. Studie 1 syftade till att studera tränares subjektiva upplevelser av utmattning kopplat till upplevda orsaker och symptom av utbrändhet samt vägen tillbaka från utbrändhet. Åtta elitfotbollstränare som tidigare hade haft problem med utmattning intervjuades. Huvudresultatet i studien var att det fanns två sätt att uppfatta utbrändhetsprocessen. Antingen såg man miljön runt elitfotbollen som den stora orsaken eller så upplevdes hela livssituationen med små stressande händelser kopplade till arbetsbelastning, familj och hälsa som problematiska. Studie 2 fokuserade på att utvärdera tre frågeformulär som är lämpliga i en tränarkontext. I analysen ingår Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), som oftast använts, Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) och Coach Burnout Questionnaire (CBQ). De viktigaste resultaten var att det dels finns problem med alla tre samt att MBI och OLBI täcker liknande definitioner av utbrändhet medan CBQ mäter lite andra aspekter. Slutsatsen från studien är att CBQ verkar passa bäst för den kontext där idrottstränare arbetar även om CBQ också har en del problematiska inslag. Studie 3 fokuserade på arbetsnarkomani och att kombinera tränarjobb med familjeliv har ett samband med utmattning. Huvudresultaten i studie 3 var att det framförallt verkar vara arbetet som störa familjelivet än familjelivet som stör arbetslivet. Ytterligare fanns inget statistiskt stöd att arbetsnarkomani skulle ha ett samband med utmattning. När det sammanlagda resultatet från hela avhandlingen tolkas utifrån vilken ny kunskap denna avhandling tillför finns två huvudbidrag. Det första är att problemen med de frågeformulär som hittills använts för att mäta utbrändhet har lyfts upp. Även om det är lovande att det utvecklats ett idrottsspecifikt formulär finns tillgängligt så finns det både teoretiska och mättekniska aspekter som behöver utvecklas. Det andra bidraget är att de symptom som ingår i upplevelsen av utbrändhet verkar vara olika för olika individer. Framtida forskning bör fokusera både på hur teoretiska och mättekninska aspekter av utbrändhetsbegreppet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2015. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
Coach burnout, exhaustion, interpretative phenomenological analysis, convergent validity, discriminant validity, quantile regression, work-home/home-work interference, workaholism
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-98056ISBN: 978-91-7601-198-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-98056DiVA: diva2:780599
Public defence
2015-02-06, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports, P2013-0075
Available from: 2015-01-16 Created: 2015-01-14 Last updated: 2015-02-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of burnout and recovery in elite soccer coaches
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An interpretative phenomenological analysis of burnout and recovery in elite soccer coaches
2012 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, ISSN 2159-676X, Vol. 4, no 3, 400-419 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge about the personal experience of burnout in elite coaches is sparse. We therefore studied subjective experiences associated with burnout in a group of elite soccer coaches; specifically how they describe perceived causes of burnout, symptoms and the subsequent recovery process. A qualitative approach was used, because our aim was to study the coaches ’ personal experiences of burnout. We conducted semi-structured interviews and used interpretative phenomenological analysis to analyse the data. We interviewed eight Swedish elite soccer coaches who had previously reported high levels of burnout. We found two burnout profiles that matched the coaches’ perceived causes of burnout. The first was associated with problems in handling the performance culture itself and the second had to do with the overall situation, including workload, family and health. Our findings describe coach burnout as stemming from a combination of issues, related to both home and work. When combined with work overload, coaches who have problems handling the performance culture in elite sports, and who lack the tools to enhance recovery, are particularly vulnerable to burnout.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012
Keyword
coach burnout, elite sports, IPA, causes, recovery
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57795 (URN)10.1080/2159676X.2012.693526 (DOI)
Note

Version of record first published: 21 Jun 2012

Available from: 2012-08-16 Created: 2012-08-16 Last updated: 2015-01-15Bibliographically approved
2. How to measure coach burnout: an evaluation of three burnout measures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to measure coach burnout: an evaluation of three burnout measures
2014 (English)In: Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, ISSN 1091-367X, E-ISSN 1532-7841, Vol. 18, no 3, 209-226 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although coach burnout has been studied for 30 years, what measure to use in this context has not yet been problematized. This study focuses on evaluating convergent and discriminant validity of three coach burnout measures by using multi-trait/multi-method analysis (CT-C[M-1]) model. We choose Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the two dimensional Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI), and a coach version of Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (CBQ). Our analysis shows that MBI and OLBI cover similar definitions of exhaustion and depersonalization/disengagement and that CBQ measures somewhat different dimensions. A problem for OLBI is a lack of discriminant validity due to high correlations between exhaustion and disengagement. For lack of personal accomplishment/reduced sense of accomplishment CBQ measures a somewhat different construct than MBI. Although all three measures have advantages and disadvantages, we promote CBQ since it discriminates between dimensions and covers important aspects of burnout in a sports context that the other two do not cover.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014
Keyword
convergent validity, discriminant validity, Maslach burnout inventory, Oldenburg burnout inventory, coach burnout inventory
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93440 (URN)10.1080/1091367X.2014.925455 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-09-22 Created: 2014-09-22 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Workaholism, home-work/work-home interference, and exhaustion among sport coaches
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Workaholism, home-work/work-home interference, and exhaustion among sport coaches
2016 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, ISSN 1932-9261, Vol. 10, no 3, 222-236 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aims of this study were to (a) examine the associations between workaholismand work-related exhaustion and (b) examine associations between work–home/home–work interference and work-related exhaustion in 261 Swedish coaches.Quantile regression showed that workaholism is only associated with exhaustionfor coaches who score high on exhaustion, that negative work–home interferencehas a stronger association with exhaustion than negative home–work interference,and that the coaches on a mean level scored low on all measured constructs. Inaddition, coaches in the higher percentiles have a higher risk for burnout. Ourresults highlight the importance of studying coach exhaustion with respect toaspects that extend beyond the sports life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Human Kinetics, 2016
Keyword
burnout, coaching, quantile regression, work–family conflict
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Applied Psychology
Research subject
Psychology; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-98055 (URN)10.1123/jcsp.2015-0029 (DOI)000398366100004 ()2-s2.0-84995685448 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish National Centre for Research in Sports, P2013-0075
Available from: 2015-01-14 Created: 2015-01-14 Last updated: 2017-05-04Bibliographically approved

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