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Motivational Antecedents of Precompetitive Anxiety in Youth Sport

Howard K. Hall and Alistair W. Kerr

The present investigation tested the conceptual links between goal orientations and achievement anxiety which have been suggested by Roberts (1986) and Dweck and Leggett (1988). One hundred and eleven junior fencers between the ages of 10 and 18 completed a series of questionnaires measuring achievement goals (TEOSQ), perceived ability and multidimensional state anxiety (CSAI-2) on four occasions prior to a regional fencing tournament. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that perceived ability was a consistent predictor of all three dimensions of the CSAI-2 at each different time period. In addition, an ego orientation was found to contribute significantly to the prediction of cognitive anxiety on two occasions prior to competition. When goals assessed immediately before performing were entered as predictors of CSAI-2 dimensions, a task orientation was found to contribute to the prediction of both somatic anxiety and confidence. The findings also suggest that an awareness of an athlete’s achievement goals and perceived ability will allow coaches a more parsimonious understanding of the motivational antecedents of precompetitive anxiety than previous approaches which have considered other motivational constructs to be crucial antecedents of precompetitive affect (e.g., Swain & Jones, 1992).

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

Andrew P. Hill, Howard K. Hall, Paul R. Appleton, and Jemma J. Murray

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.