Psychology Research Seminar

Date: 25 May 2023
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: In-person and online

The Health Consequences of Athlete Burnout

Hanna Glandorf (York St John University)

Burnout is a mental health problem that has become increasingly prevalent in athletes in recent years. Research outside of sport has shown burnout to be associated with reductions in mental health (e.g., increased depressive symptoms) and physical health (e.g., increased somatic symptoms). While similar investigations have been carried out in sport, these had not been summarised. This talk will present findings from the first systematic review and meta-analysis of associations between athlete burnout and mental and physical health consequences. It will further present results from a case study that built on these findings by examining changes in perceived stress and burnout as well as a range of biomarkers in athletes over a seven to 11-month period. The findings of the systematic review and meta-analysis showed athlete burnout to be associated with both increases in negative mental health outcomes (e.g., depressive symptoms) and decreases in positive mental health outcomes (e.g., life satisfaction). Evidence for an association between athlete burnout and physical health outcomes (e.g., biomarkers) was mixed. The results from the case study showed associations between athlete burnout and some biomarkers (e.g., glycated hemoglobin). These studies suggest that burnout may have negative implications for athletes’ health beyond its own symptoms.

In-person: Mary Burton G14, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.