Relations between multidimensional perfectionism and burnout in junior-elite male athletes

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Objectives:The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the moderating influence of perceptions of goal progress and achievement goal orientations on the relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and athlete burnout.Methods:201 junior-elite male athletes, ranging from 11 to 21 years of age (M = 15.64, SD = 1.92), were recruited from professional sport clubs in the UK and completed a multi-section inventory assessing self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism [Hewitt, P. L., & Flett, G. L. (1991). Perfectionism in the self and social contexts: conceptualization, assessment, and association with psychopathology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 456–470], achievement goal orientations [Roberts, G. C., Treasure, D. C., & Balague, G. (1998). Achievement goals in sport: the development and validation of the perception of success questionnaire. Journal of Sport Sciences, 16, 337–347], perceived goal progress [Hill, A. P., Hall, H. K., Appleton, P. R., & Kozub, S. A. (2008). Perfectionism and burnout in junior-elite soccer players: the mediating influence of unconditional self-acceptance. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9, 630–644] and multidimensional athlete burnout [Raedeke, T. D., & Smith, A. L. (2001). Development and preliminary validation of an athlete burnout measure. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 23, 281–306].Results:Regression analyses revealed that socially prescribed perfectionism demonstrated a significant positive association, and self-oriented perfectionism a significant negative association with burnout dimensions. However, the hypotheses for moderation of the perfectionism–burnout relationship were not supported.Conclusions:Overall, while there was no evidence to support the hypothesised moderation of the perfectionism–burnout relationship, the results provide support for a growing body of literature which indicates that maladaptive forms of perfectionism may contribute to burnout in elite junior athletes [Chen, L. H., Kee, Y. H., Chen, M., & Tsaim, Y. (2008). Relation of perfectionism with athletes' burnout: further examination. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 106, 811–820; Gould, D., Tuffey, S., Udrey, E., & Loehr, J. (1996). Burnout in competitive junior tennis players: II. Qualitative analysis. The Sport Psychologist, 10, 341–366; Gould, D., Udry, E., Tuffey, S., & Loehr, J. (1996). Burnout in competitive junior tennis players: I. A quantitative psychological assessment. The Sport Psychologist, 10, 332–340; Hall, H. K. (2006). Perfectionism: a hallmark quality of world class performers, or a psychological impediment to athletic development? In D. Hackfort, & G. Tenenbaum (Eds.), Perspectives in sport and exercise psychology: Essential processes for attaining peak performance (Vol. 1, pp. 178–211). Oxford, UK: Meyer & Meyer Publishers; Hill et al., 2008; Lemyre, P. N., Hall, H. K., & Roberts, G. C. (2008). A social cognitive approach to burnout in elite athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 18, 221–224].

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