An Exploratory Study of Resilience, Life Satisfaction, Perceived Social Support, and Experience on Burnout in Sports Officials


Authors: Matthew L. Symonds, William Russell, and Tyler N. Tapps
Page Range: 283-301
Published in: Journal of Contemporary Athletics, 15#4
ISSN: 1554-9933

ISBN: N/A Category:

Table of Contents


Sports officials play a critical role in organized sport, yet are often marginalized (Auger et al., 2010), or overlooked within sport research (Erikson et al., 2012). This is unfortunate given that sports official attrition rates have reached crisis levels (American Sport Education Program, 2011; Livingston & Forbes, 2016). While previous research has examined why officials discontinue (e.g., Hancock et al., 2015; Livingston & Forbes, 2016), less research (e.g., Koh & Hanrahan, 2017) has explored officials’ burnout, which may explain attrition. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between officials’ burnout, resilience, perceived social support, life satisfaction, time spent in officiating activities, and officiating experience. Sports officials (N = 1,598; M age = 49.06, SD = 12.45) self-reported their age, weekly hours in officiating activities, burnout, perceived social support, life satisfaction, and resilience. Exploratory stepwise multiple regression results on burnout indicated resilience and esteem support were significant negative predictors of reduced sense of accomplishment, F (5,1491) = 107.06, p <. 001, R2 = .27. A separate regression showed resilience and emotional support were significant negative predictors of exhaustion, F (5,1489) = 78.93, p < .001, R2 = 21. Finally, emotional support and resilience were significant negative predictors of officiating devaluation, F (5,1489) = 69.59, p < .001, R2 = 22. Officials’ resilience, life satisfaction, and perceived social support were negatively correlated with burnout dimensions (p < .001). Results suggest enhancing officials’ resilience and perceived social support may lessen burnout. Keywords: burnout, sports officials, resilience, perceived social support