soccer academies. It also examined how in this context burnout and depression might be related to perfectionism among junior athletes. We first define and describe athlete burnout, depressive symptoms, and perfectionism, as well as review research examining them in sport. We then discuss research that
Esmie P. Smith, Andrew P. Hill, and Howard K. Hall
Pooja Somasundaram and Alexandra M. Burgess
presentation of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors among this understudied group may facilitate the development of prevention and intervention programs targeting the large number of amateur level female athletes. Perfectionism and Disordered Eating Symptomology In understanding the presentation of
Paul A. Sellars, Lynne Evans, and Owen Thomas
This study examined the perfectionism experiences of 10 elite perfectionist athletes (5 male and 5 female). Following completion of the Sport Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale-2 (Gotwals & Dunn, 2009), a purposeful sample of unhealthy perfectionists were interviewed in relation to the study aims. Several themes emerged from the data that related to: effects of perfectionism and its antecedents on sporting experiences, specificity and level of perfectionism, and the coping skills and techniques used to counter the potentially detrimental effects of perfectionism. The findings highlighted the multidimensional nature of perfectionism and the need for future research to further explore the efficacy of techniques athletes use to promote healthy and reduce unhealthy facets of perfectionism.
Andrew P. Hill, Joachim Stoeber, Anna Brown, and Paul R. Appleton
Perfectionism is a personality characteristic that has been found to predict sports performance in athletes. To date, however, research has exclusively examined this relationship at an individual level (i.e., athletes’ perfectionism predicting their personal performance). The current study extends this research to team sports by examining whether, when manifested at the team level, perfectionism predicts team performance. A sample of 231 competitive rowers from 36 boats completed measures of self-oriented, team-oriented, and team-prescribed perfectionism before competing against one another in a 4-day rowing competition. Strong within-boat similarities in the levels of team members’ team-oriented perfectionism supported the existence of collective team-oriented perfectionism at the boat level. Two-level latent growth curve modeling of day-by-day boat performance showed that team-oriented perfectionism positively predicted the position of the boat in midcompetition and the linear improvement in position. The findings suggest that imposing perfectionistic standards on team members may drive teams to greater levels of performance.
Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Jennifer Cumming, Danielle Aways, and Lucinda Sharp
The present study investigated perfectionism prevalence and its relationship to imagery and performance anxiety. Two hundred and fifty (N = 250) elite students (66.4% female; M age = 19.19, SD = 2.66) studying mainly classical ballet or contemporary dance in England, Canada, and Australia completed questionnaires assessing perfectionism, imagery, and performance anxiety. Cluster analysis revealed three distinct cohorts: dancers with perfectionistic tendencies (40.59% of the sample), dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies (44.35%), and dancers with no perfectionistic tendencies (15.06%). Notably, these labels are data driven and relative; only eight dancers reported high absolute scores. Dancers with perfectionistic tendencies experienced more debilitative imagery, greater cognitive and somatic anxiety, and lower self-confidence than other dancers. Dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies reported midlevel scores for all constructs and experienced somatic anxiety as being more debilitative to performance than did those with no perfectionistic tendencies. Clusters were demographically similar, though more males than females reported no perfectionistic tendencies, and vice versa. In summary, the present findings suggest that “true” perfectionism may be rare in elite dance; however, elements of perfectionism appear common and are associated with maladaptive characteristics.
Paul R. Appleton and Andrew P. Hill
This study investigated whether motivation regulations mediate the relationship between socially prescribed and self-oriented dimensions of perfectionism and athlete burnout. Two-hundred and thirty-one (N = 231) elite junior athletes completed the Child and Adolescent Perfectionism Scale (Flett, Hewitt, Boucher, Davidson, & Munro, 2000), the Sport Motivation Scale (Pelletier, Fortier, Valle-rand, Tuson, & Blais, 1995), and the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (Raedeke & Smith, 2009). Multiple mediator regression analyses revealed that amotivation mediated the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism and burnout symptoms. Amotivation and intrinsic motivation emerged as significant mediators of the relationship between self-oriented perfectionism and burnout symptoms. The findings suggest that patterns of motivation regulations are important factors in the perfectionism-athlete burnout relationship.
Howard K. Hall, Alistair W. Kerr, and Julie Matthews
This investigation employed Smith’s (1996) model of performance-related anxiety to examine links between perfectionism, achievement goals, and the temporal patterning of multidimensional state anxiety in 119 high school runners. Instruments assessed achievement goals (Roberts & Balague, 1989), perfectionism (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990), and multidimensional state anxiety (Martens, Burton, & Vealey, 1990) on 4 occasions prior to a cross-country meet. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that overall perfectionism was a consistent, significant predictor of cognitive anxiety. Perceived ability was a consistent predictor of confidence, and ego and task goals contributed to the prediction of cognitive anxiety and confidence, respectively. Concern over mistakes, doubts about action, and personal standards were consistent predictors of cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and confidence, respectively. The findings help further develop Smith’s (1996) model and suggest that the appraisal process underlying multidimensional state anxiety is influenced by individual differences in a number of achievement-related constructs.
Daniel J. Madigan, Joachim Stoeber, and Louis Passfield
Perfectionism in sports has been shown to predict longitudinal changes in athlete burnout. What mediates these changes over time, however, is still unclear. Adopting a self-determination theory perspective and using a three-wave longitudinal design, the current study examined perfectionistic strivings, perfectionistic concerns, autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and athlete burnout in 141 junior athletes (mean age = 17.3 years) over 6 months of active training. When multilevel structural equation modeling was employed to test a mediational model, a differential pattern of between- and within-person relationships emerged. Whereas autonomous motivation mediated the negative relationship that perfectionistic strivings had with burnout at the between- and within-person level, controlled motivation mediated the positive relationship that perfectionistic concerns had with burnout at the between-persons level only. The present findings suggest that differences in autonomous and controlled motivation explain why perfectionism predicts changes in athlete burnout over time.
Thomas Curran and Andrew P. Hill
, 1995 ; Scanlan & Lewthwaite, 1984 ; Scanlan & Passer, 1979 ). One factor that may increase stress vulnerability is perfectionism. This idea is formalized in the notion of general and specific diathesis–stress models wherein perfectionism serves as a vulnerability factor that interacts with the
Danielle S. Molnar, Melissa Blackburn, Dawn Zinga, Natalie Spadafora, Tabitha Methot-Jones, and Maureen Connolly
Perfectionism continues to garner considerable attention in the areas of sport and exercise with a burgeoning literature underscoring the important role of perfectionism in dance ( Hill, 2016 ; Hill & Madigan, 2017 ; Hill et al., 2018 ). This is a welcome addition to the perfectionism literature