Perfectionism and Burnout in Canoe Polo and Kayak Slalom Athletes: The Mediating Influence of Validation and Growth-Seeking

in The Sport Psychologist

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Andrew P. HillYork St. John University

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Howard K. HallYork St. John University

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Paul R. AppletonUniversity of Bedfordshire

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Jemma J. MurrayUniversity of Bedfordshire

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Recent research suggests that validation-seeking and dimensions of perfectionism may be antecedents of athlete burnout. The present investigation examined whether validation and growth-seeking mediate the relationship between self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism and burnout. One-hundred and fifty canoe polo and kayak slalom athletes recruited from the top two divisions in the UK completed measures of validation and growth-seeking (GOI), perfectionism (HMPS), and athlete burnout (ABQ). Analyses supported the mediating role of validation-seeking in the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism and burnout. However, while bivariate correlations indicated that self-oriented perfectionism was positively related to both validation and growth-seeking, neither mediated the self-oriented perfectionism-burnout relationship. The findings suggest that validation-seeking may be an important psychological factor in the development of burnout for athletes exhibiting high levels of socially prescribed perfectionism. The relationship between self-oriented perfectionism and athlete burnout remains unclear because of its association with multiple motives and with socially prescribed perfectionism.

Hill and Hall are with the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, York St. John University, York, YO31 7EX, United Kingdom. Appleton and Murray are with the University of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom.

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