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Although it is widely accepted that coping resources theoretically influence the stress-burnout relationship, it is unclear whether key internal (i.e., coping behaviors) and external (i.e., social support satisfaction) coping resources have stress-mediated or moderating influences on athlete burnout. Therefore we examined whether coping behaviors and social support satisfaction (a) had indirect stress-mediated relationships with burnout or (b) disjunctively (independently) or conjunctively (in combination) moderated the relationship between perceived stress and burnout. Senior level age-group swimmers (N = 244; ages 14–19 years) completed a questionnaire assessing burnout, perceived stress, general coping behaviors, and social support satisfaction. The results revealed that perceived stress, general coping behaviors, and social support satisfaction were related to burnout. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that general coping behaviors and social support satisfaction had stress-mediated relationships with overall burnout levels. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses failed to support the disjunctive and conjunctive moderation hypotheses. Results thus support stress-mediated perspectives forwarded in previous research.
T.D. Raedeke is with the Dept. of Exercise and Sport Science, East Carolina University, FITT Bldg., Greenville, NC 27858; A.L. Smith is with the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Purdue University, Lambert Fieldhouse, W. Lafayette, IN 47907.