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Athletes’ Broad Dimensions of Dispositional Perfectionism: Examining Changes in Life Satisfaction and the Mediating Role of Sport-Related Motivation and Coping

Patrick Gaudreau and Sheilah Antl

This study examined the associations of dispositional perfectionism, contextual motivation, sport-related coping, goal attainment, and changes in life satisfaction during a sport competition. A sample of 186 athletes completed measures of dispositional perfectionism, contextual motivation, and life satisfaction at Time 1 (before a competition) as well as measures of coping, goal attainment, and life satisfaction at Time 2 (after a competition). Results of structural equation modeling supported a model in which self-determined and non-self-determined motivation partially mediated the relationships between different dimensions of perfectionism and coping. It was also shown that disengagement-oriented coping mediated the negative relationship between evaluative concerns perfectionism and change in life satisfaction. In a similar way, goal attainment mediated the relationships of both task- and disengagement-oriented coping with change in life satisfaction. For the most part, these results are consistent with the motivational properties of evaluative concerns and personal standards perfectionism and with literature regarding coping and self-determination theory.