Psychological Factors of Burnout in Former/Retired Elite-Level Race Walkers in the United States

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017


PURPOSE: To determine and extrapolate the causation of psychological factors of burnout in former/ retired female and male elite-level race walkers (N=75) in the United States (U.S.).

METHODS: Seven factors of burnout were derived and analyzed based on the subjects’ responses to a non-validated anonymous online survey. This research was analyzed through exploratory analysis with an eigenvalue set at 1.00 using varimax rotations. These seven factors retained 75.99% of total variance which were accounted for and explained by the factors success (1), accomplishment (2), fatigue (3), apathy (4), awareness (5), appreciation (6), and lack of marketing (7). An independent t-test and a one-way ANOVA were conducted to determine a significant difference in responses between genders.

RESULTS: Profile analysis/one way repeated measures analysis of variance of the seven factors indicate statistical significance and efficacy based on the Partial eta² of 0.489 using the Lower-bound being 49% of the total variance explaining the differences among the seven factors. Across all factors, factors 5 and 7 scored the highest means, which indicated the most significant impact of burnout while factors 1 and 2 demonstrated the least impact. Both the independent t-test and the one-way ANOVA found no significant (p<.05) differences in responses to factors 1 (.615), 2 (.611), 3 (.820), 4 (.633), 5 (.760), 6 (.854), and 7 (.369) between genders.

CONCLUSION: Based on the profile analysis, the common underlying factors in this research investigation narrowed down to “Awareness” and “Lack of Marketing” in U.S. race walking. This represents crucial components to the declining state of elite-level race walking as well as the most significant impact of burnout in former/retired female and male elite-level race walkers in the U.S. The results of this project will assist in identifying influential factors of burnout, hence improving the future of the sport in the U.S. The continuation of research on elite-level race walking burnout is imperative for the growth of the sport and the well-being of these athletes.