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This study examined the degree to which male youth ice hockey playersʼ (N = 229, M age = 14.15 years; SD = 1.03) perfectionist orientations were associated with anger vulnerability in competition. Perfectionism and trait anger were measured as domain-specific constructs. Athletes were also asked to speculate on the likely intensity of anger responses if they were to commit mistakes in high- and low-criticality situations in competition. Canonical correlation results indicated that heightened perfectionist orientations were associated with heightened competitive trait anger. Cluster analyses produced three clusters of athletes who possessed either low, moderate, or high levels of perfectionism. Significant between-cluster differences on anger responses to mistakes were obtained, with highly perfectionistic athletes anticipating significantly higher levels of anger following mistakes than low and moderately perfectionistic athletes. A significant situation-criticality main effect was also observed, with athletes anticipating higher levels of anger following personal mistakes in high- as opposed to low-criticality situations. Results are discussed within the context of cognitive motivational theories of emotion.
The authors are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta. Correspondence to John G.H. Dunn, E-488 Van Vliet Centre, Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2H9.