Master of Education in Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies Graduate Projects


Jordan Allen


The purpose of this studywas to investigate the relationships among burnout, motivation, and self-handicapping in collegiate club athletes.Male and female collegiate club athletes (N= 67; ages 18-29) from two sports (rugby and volleyball) at a Midwestern University completed a battery of questionnaires at one time point that included a demographics questionnaire, the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (ABQ), Sport Motivation Scale – 2 (SMS-2), and Self-Handicapping Scale (SHS).Results of independent t-tests and one-way ANOVAs revealed that there were no significant gender or sport differences in athletic burnout, motivation, and self-handicapping. The data from both genders and sport teams was then collapsed into a single sample for further data analysis. Bivariate correlations were used to examine the relationship between each of the variables and a stepwise multiple regression was used to determinewhether burnout and motivation were significant predictors of self-handicapping. Results of bivariate correlations found that factors of athletic burnout were positively correlated with amotivation, emotional/physical exhaustion (r= .357), reduced sense of accomplishment (r= .349), sport devaluation (r= .410), global sport index (r= .497). Bivariate correlations also found that factors of athletic burnout were also negatively correlated with intrinsic motivation, sport devaluation (r= -.464), global burnout index (r= -.410). Correlation results showed that athletes with higher trait self-handicapping reported higher reduced sense of accomplishment (r= .379) and global burnout index levels (r= .303). Additionally, stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that self-handicapping scores may be predicted by subscales of burnout and motivation(R² = .238, ­adj= .214, F(2,64) = 9.98, p < .001). The results of this study suggest that athletes with high levels of athletic burnout and extrinsic forms of motivation may lead athletes to engage in self-handicapping strategies. Overall, this study showed that there are significant relationships between the variables of athletic burnout, motivation, and self-handicapping.


Dr. David A. Tobar

Second Reader

Dr. Bonnie G. Berger