The relationship between burnout and mood state among student rugby union players

  • HW Grobbelaar
  • DDJ Malan
  • BJM Steyn
  • SM Ellis
Keywords: Emotional, physical exhaustion, fatigue, marker, sign, symptom.


Mood state changes are widely regarded as a symptom of athlete burnout and show potential to be used as a marker for this condition. The aim of this study was to determine whether changes in burnout scores would be accompanied by similar changes in mood state scores, and to determine the strength of the relationship between burnout and mood state scores at different test points. Forty-one male student rugby union players (mean age: 22.26 ± 1.39 years) completed the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (ABQ) of Raedeke and Smith (2001) and the Stellenbosch Mood Scale (STEMS) of Terry, Potgieter and Fogarty (2003) on a three-weekly basis over a five-month pre-season training, pre-competition and competition phase. Data collection consisted of seven test points in total during this period. The ABQ subscale scores remained unchanged throughout the study period, whereas practical significant fluctuations in Total Mood State, Depressive Mood, Anger, Fatigue and Confusion were evident. Practical significant correlations (relationships) were observed between various Burnout and Mood State subscales, notably at test points T1 (start of the pre-season training phase), T4 and T5 (pre-competition phase). The Emotional/Physical Exhaustion and Total Burnout Score in particular were strongly related to various STEMS subscales. However, the strength of the burnout - mood state relationship was inconsistent over the study period. Collectively, these results raise question marks over the use of mood state changes as a marker for burnout in this particular group. Practitioners are, therefore, cautioned against the isolated use of mood state changes as a marker for burnout.

Keywords: Emotional, physical exhaustion, fatigue, marker, sign, symptom

Errata: In AJPHERD Vol. 17(4:1), December 2011, pages 647-664, the full authors’ institutional affiliations were inadvertently omitted from the article's full text. The full information is now provided as follows: H.W. GROBBELAA1, D.D.J. MALAN2, B.J.M. STEYN3 AND S.M. ELLIS4
1Department of Sport science, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2School of Biokinetics, Recreation and Sports Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
3Department of Biokinetics, Sports and Leisure Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
4Statistical Consultation Services, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Also in the same article, specifically in the section, “How to cite this article”, the initials of D.J. Malan should read, D.D.J. Malan.
This error is regretted.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939