Describing Citation Structures in Sport Burnout Literature: A Citation Network Analysis
Hancock, David J.
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Objectives To evaluate sport burnout research using citation network analysis. Design A citation network analysis. Methods We began by searching the term “sport and burnout” in SportDiscus, Physical Education Index, and PsycINFO. From the returned search, we then selected and analyzed all peer-reviewed English articles that were published before 2012. This allowed us to create a network of inter-citations. Results Our search yielded 102 articles, of which there were 11 reviews (11%), 13 qualitative articles (13%), 76 quantitative articles (75%), and two mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) articles (2%). The 11 most cited articles were published between 1984 and 2006, appearing in 5 journals (7 of them in the same journal). Merely 2 of the most cited articles investigated coach burnout. Top-cited articles typically conducted original research using male and female individual sport athletes and were published by North American authors, with two recent exceptions. The most cited article, and also most influential burnout model, was Smith's (1986) cognitive-affective stress model. Conclusions The findings show that following an initial focus on coach burnout, more recent studies examine athletes. In this paper we have identified some strengths amongst the most cited papers, including a wide range of publication dates and a focus on both male and female athletes; however, there were also limitations such as a scarcity of articles investigating team sport athletes.