The purpose of this investigation was to examine stress and burnout in athletic directors. Using Kelley’s (1994) original model we hypothesized that stress mediated the influence of social support, hardiness, and career issues on burnout. A second model, based on Smith’s (1986) contentions, allowed stress predictors to directly influence burnout in addition to influencing burnout through stress. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses supported the respecified model over Kelley’s (1994) original model. Athletic directors with a tendency to find career issues stressful, and who were low in hardiness, experienced elevated stress and burnout. Specifically, stress predictors had a direct influence on burnout, as well as an indirect influence through stress. Descriptive data classified athletic directors as enduring greater levels of emotional exhaustion than depersonalization and personal accomplishment.
Jeffrey J. Martin is with the Division of Health, Recreation and Physical Education at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202. Betty Kelley is now with Kelley Consultants, Inc., in Tempe, AZ 85287. Robert C. Eklund is with the Department of Human Movement and Exercise Science at the University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6907, Australia.