The Role of Athletic Identity in the Development of Athlete Burnout: The Moderating Role of Psychological Flexibility

Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 39, 45-51, Forthcoming

30 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2018

See all articles by Wen Hsin Chang

Wen Hsin Chang

National Taipei University of Technology

Chia‐Huei Wu

Durham University

Che-Chun Kuo

Tunghai University

Lung Hung Chen

National Taiwan Sport University

Date Written: July 27, 2018

Abstract

Inconsistent findings have been reported regarding the association between athletic identity and emotional exhaustion, a key dimension of athlete burnout, indicating a need to identify boundary conditions that shape the role of athletic identity in the development of emotional exhaustion. To reconcile the mixed findings, the authors propose that psychological flexibility, identified as “the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being and to change or persist in behavior when doing so serves valued ends” (Hayes, Luoma, Bond, Misuka, & Lillis, 2006, p. 8), can moderate the association between athletic identity and the development of emotional exhaustion. Using a two-wave, time-lagged survey, a total of 132 college athletes (mean age = 19.97 years) completed assessments of athletic identity at Time 1, psychological flexibility at Time 1, and emotional exhaustion at Time 1 and at Time 2 three months later. The results indicated that athletic identity is positively associated with the development of emotional exhaustion over time among individuals with low psychological flexibility but is negatively associated with emotional exhaustion for individuals with high levels of psychological flexibility. This study suggests that the association of athletic identity with increased or decreased emotional exhaustion over time depends on the athlete’s attributes. Practically, our findings highlight the importance of understanding athletes’ levels of psychological flexibility to prevent emotional exhaustion.

Suggested Citation

Chang, Wen Hsin and Wu, Chia‐Huei and Kuo, Che-Chun and Chen, Lung Hung, The Role of Athletic Identity in the Development of Athlete Burnout: The Moderating Role of Psychological Flexibility (July 27, 2018). Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 39, 45-51, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3232986

Wen Hsin Chang

National Taipei University of Technology ( email )

Taiwan

Chia‐Huei Wu (Contact Author)

Durham University ( email )

Old Elvet
Mill Hill Lane
Durham, Durham DH1 3HP
United Kingdom

Che-Chun Kuo

Tunghai University ( email )

Taichung 407
Taiwan

Lung Hung Chen

National Taiwan Sport University ( email )

No Address Available
United States

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