Perfectionism and Perceptions of Parenting Styles in Male Youth Soccer

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Klaudia M. SapiejaUniversity of Alberta

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John G.H. DunnUniversity of Alberta

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Nicholas L. HoltUniversity of Alberta

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Although perfectionist orientations have been linked to a variety of cognitive, affective, and behavioral correlates in youth sport, little is known about antecedent factors that may influence adolescent athletes’ perfectionist orientations. The purpose of this study was to determine whether perceptions of parenting styles differ as a function of adolescent athletes’ perfectionist orientations. A total of 194 male youth soccer players (M age = 13.64 years; SD = 1.51; range, 10.67−16.25 years) completed measures of their perfectionist orientations in sport and of their perceptions of maternal and paternal parenting styles. Scores from the parenting style measure were calculated such that higher scores were reflective of higher parental authoritativeness (as perceived by the athletes). Cluster analyses conducted on perfectionism responses produced independent clusters of unhealthy perfectionists, healthy perfectionists, and nonperfectionists. MANOVA results revealed that both healthy- and nonperfectionists had significantly higher perceptions of maternal and paternal authoritativeness than unhealthy perfectionists (ps < .005). Results indicate that exposure to heightened authoritative parenting may play a role in developing healthy perfectionist orientations (or decrease the likelihood of developing unhealthy perfectionist orientations) in youth sport.

Klaudia M. Sapieja, John G.H. Dunn, and Nicholas L. Holt are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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