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The relationship between bullying and burnout: An empirical investigation of Turkish professional football players

Süleyman Murat Yildiz (School of Physical Education and Sports, Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Mugla, Turkey)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 9 March 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between bullying and burnout and its effect on professional football players. Although the effects of both bullying and burnout have been studied in different contexts, the effects of these constructs have not been fully examined among professional football players in culturally different environments.

Design/methodology/approach

To measure bullying, the authors used a modified version of the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R) adapted to the professional football environment. To measure burnout, we used Raedeke and Smith’s (2001) “Athlete Burnout Questionnaire”. Data for the study (n=102) were collected from the professional football players in the Turkish Secondary Football League. Explatory and confirmatory analysis were performed for validity and reliability of the questionnaires. Correlations and hierarchical regression analysis were performed for data.

Findings

Our findings showed that bullying influenced all three dimensions of burnout (reduced sense of accomplishment, emotional/physical exhaustion, and devaluation), particularly the emotional/physical exhaustion. High levels of burnout that the victims might experience because of bullying may reduce individual performance as well as team performance. Furthermore, higher levels of burnout contribute to attrition (losing a well-performing player prematurely), which could have a significant effect on team’s overall performance and competitiveness.

Originality/value

This study utilized the “Negative Acts Questionnaire-Football (NAQ-F)” adapted from the “Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R)”. Using NAQ-F, this study tested the relationship between bullying and burnout and its effect on professional football players. The study results showed that to reduce the negative consequences of potential bullying behaviour on players and teams, high-performing professional football clubs should develop social networks and mechanisms to minimize the effects of such behaviours and/or provide the needed support to the victims, as needed.

Keywords

Citation

Yildiz, S.M. (2015), "The relationship between bullying and burnout: An empirical investigation of Turkish professional football players", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 6-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-09-2012-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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