Perfectionism and Burnout in Junior Athletes: A Three-Month Longitudinal Study

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Perfectionism in sports has been shown to be associated with burnout in athletes. Whether perfectionism predicts longitudinal changes in athlete burnout, however, is still unclear. Using a two-wave cross-lagged panel design, the current study examined perfectionistic strivings, perfectionistic concerns, and athlete burnout in 101 junior athletes (mean age 17.7 years) over 3 months of active training. When structural equation modeling was employed to test a series of competing models, the best-fitting model showed opposite patterns for perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. Whereas perfectionistic concerns predicted increases in athlete burnout over the 3 mon ths, perfectionistic strivings predicted decreases. The present findings suggest that perfectionistic concerns are a risk factor for junior athletes contributing to the development of athlete burnout whereas perfectionistic strivings appear to be a protective factor.

Daniel Madigan and Louis Passfield are with the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, Chatham, Kent, UK, and Joachim Stoeber is with the School of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK.

Address author correspondence to Daniel Madigan at
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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