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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.

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Andrew C. Sparkes and Sarah Partington

Narrative practice is an approach that enables researchers to alternately focus on the whats and hows of meaningful social interaction. The potential benefits of utilizing this approach in sport psychology are highlighted by focusing on the area of flow as an exemplar. It is suggested that the majority of work on flow has focused on the whats rather than on the equally important hows of this phenomenon. To illustrate the ways in which a concern for the hows of narrative practice can provide different insights into flow, data are provided from an interview-based study of a white water canoeing club. The findings suggest that describing flow is a relational performance, which is shaped by a number of narrative resources and auspices that operate differently according to gender.