Social support is an adaptive resource associated with lower levels of burnout in sport. The effects of social support on burnout have typically been demonstrated through (1) a main effects model (direct negative associations between social support and burnout) and (2) a stress-buffering model (social support buffering the negative effects of stress on burnout). While both models provide insights into functional adaptations to burnout and stress in sport, evidence for significant main and stress-buffering effects are inconsistent. Reasons for this is include: (1) testing of a singular perspective of support in empirical research, and (2) a lack of specificity when analysing social support and burnout (e.g., adoption of global-level analyses). To address this, the purpose of the study was to test differing perspectives of social support (perceived availability of support and received support) in regards to the main and stress-buffering effects of dimensions of social support (emotional, esteem, informational, and tangible) on dimensions of burnout (reduced sense of accomplishment, devaluation, emotional and physical exhaustion). Cross-sectional data were collected from 222 athletes. Moderated hierarchical regression analyses revealed that: (1) higher levels of stress were associated with higher levels of burnout (all dimensions); (2) higher levels of perceived availability of support were associated with lower levels of reduced sense of accomplishment and devaluation (with the exception of perceived availability of emotional support upon devaluation), and (3) perceived availability of emotional support buffered the negative effects of high stress upon devaluation. There were no significant main or interactive effects for any dimensions of received support. The significant interaction suggests that higher levels of perceived availability of emotional support may result in a functional adaptation to higher stress such that individuals may be protected from higher levels of devaluation of sport.
- Perceived availability of support
- Received support
- Sport psychology
ASJC Scopus subject areas