Exploring Social–Contextual Correlates of Perfectionism in Adolescents: A Multivariate Perspective

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One objective of this study was to examine whether young adolescents, who are invested in an achievement activity (i.e., sport), could be distinguished on their perceptions of social–contextual influences in their home. A second purpose was to explore whether youth differentiated with respect to their perceptions of their parental environment vary in terms of their perfectionistic tendencies and motivational characteristics (i.e., personal goal orientations, motivational regulations). In a sample of 196 athletes, perceptions of parental criticism, expectations, goal orientations, and flexibility were cluster analyzed. Results supported a 4-cluster solution composing of an Ego-Involving, Structured Environment (N=72); a High Ability Focused, Flexible Environment (N=34); a Task-Involving, Flexible Environment (N=65); and a Punitive, Structured Environment (N=24). The observed variability in perfectionistic tendencies and motivational characteristics associated with each cluster highlighted the importance of a multidimensional approach to the examination of parental influence and provided insight into how positive achievement striving in youth can be fostered.

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