Background/Purpose Research has demonstrated the impact of burnout on sport personnel. Martin, Kelley, & Eklund (1999) found significant levels of work-related stress and burnout in male interscholastic athletic directors (ADs). In recent years, the expectations and time commitment of high school ADs have increased. The purpose of this study was to examine burnout and perceived stress in male and female ADs.
Method Interscholastic ADs (N=2640) were emailed directions for completing the electronic survey. The survey included: a demographic inventory, the Athletic Director Work-Related Stress Assessment (ADWRSA), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983), and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) (Maslach & Jackson, 1996). Completed surveys were returned by 433 individuals.
Analysis/Results An examination of the ADWRSA indicated that ADs feel stress in four areas: time away from family, issues with parents of athletes, athletic budget, and long hours. ADs were found to have similar levels of emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and professional efficacy on the MBI in comparison to norms based on 14,000+ professionals. MANOVAs examining group differences in burnout identified significant differences based on gender and age. Specifically, females were higher in emotional exhaustion than males. Additionally, individuals in the 25-34 year-old age group were higher in cynicism than their 35+ year-old colleagues and the 55-70 year-old age group experienced less emotional exhaustion than all other age groups. Analyses of the PSS mirrored the findings of the MBI.
Conclusions Explanations for age and gender differences as well strategies for the professional development of high school ADs will be discussed.
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