Motivation and Burnout among Top Amateur Rugby Players

Scott Cresswell, R. Eklund

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    122 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To examine relationships and potential causal directions among burnout and types of motivation differing in degree of self-determination. Method: Data were collected on burnout using the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire and Sport Motivation Scale from 392 top amateur male rugby players. Structural equation modeling procedures were employed to evaluate a measurement model and three conceptually grounded structural models. One conceptual model specified concomitant (noncausal) relationships between burnout and motivations varying in self-determination. The other conceptual models specified causal pathways between burnout and the three motivation variables considered in the investigation (i.e., intrinsic motivation, external regulation, and amotivation). Results: Within the models, amotivation, the least self-determined type of motivation, had a large positive association with burnout. Externally regulated motivation had trivial and nonsignificant relationships with burnout. Self-determined forms of motivation (i.e., intrinsic motivation) exhibited significant negative associations with burnout. Conclusions: Overall the results support the potential utility of a self-determination theory explanation of burnout. As all models displayed reasonable and comparable fits, further research is required to establish the nature (concomitant vs directional causal vs reciprocal causal) of the relationship between burnout and motivation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)469-477
    JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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