The mediating role of psychological need satisfaction in relationships between types of passion for sport and athlete burnout

J Sports Sci. 2013;31(6):597-606. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2012.742956. Epub 2012 Nov 14.


Research indicates that obsessive and harmonious passion can explain variability in burnout through various mediating processes (e.g., Vallerand, Paquet, Phillippe, & Charest, 2010). The current study extended previous research (Curran, Appleton, Hill, & Hall, 2011; Gustafsson, Hassmén, & Hassmén, 2011) by testing a model in which the effects of passion for sport on athlete burnout were mediated by psychological need satisfaction. One hundred and seventy-three academy soccer players completed self-report measures of passion for sport, psychological need satisfaction, and athlete burnout. Results indicated that psychological need satisfaction mediated the relationship between harmonious passion and athlete burnout but not obsessive passion and athlete burnout. The findings indicate that the inverse relationship between harmonious passion and burnout can be explained by higher levels of psychological need satisfaction. However, this was not the case for obsessive passion, which was not associated with psychological need satisfaction or most symptoms of athlete burnout.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Emotions*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Obsessive Behavior / psychology*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Sports / psychology*