The literature on burnout has concentrated on the human service and helping professions, although recently some researchers have investigated the burnout phenomenon in sport. The present investigation focused on high school and college head coaches to determine if burnout is related to leadership style. Subjects (N=302) were high school coaches from Texas and college coaches from the Southwest and Southeast Conferences. Coaches completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), Social Desirability Scale (SDS), and a demographic data sheet. A MANOVA indicated a significant relationship between burnout and leadership style in four of the six subscales of the MBI. Specificially, coaches who displayed a consideration style of leadership behavior scored significantly higher in the frequency and intensity dimensions of the emotional exhaustion and depersonalization subscales. In addition, a significant gender difference revealed that male coaches scored higher in both the frequency and intensity dimensions of the depersonalization subscales. Results are discussed in terms of leadership theory, and practical implications are offered for reducing burnout in coaches.
Judy Dale and Robert S. Weinberg are with the Department of HPER at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203