Multidimensional Perfectionism in Sport: A Meta-Analytical Review

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Abstract

The current study provides an updated and meta-analytical review of research examining multidimensional perfectionism in sport. In doing so, studies that report the relationships between perfectionistic strivings, perfectionistic concerns and a range of motivation, emotion/well-being, and performance criterion variables are examined. A literature search yielded 52 studies and 697 effect sizes for 29 criterion variables. Random effects models revealed that perfectionistic strivings displayed small-to-medium relationships with a mix of maladaptive and adaptive motivation and emotion/well-being, and a small-to-medium relationship with better performance. By contrast, perfectionistic concerns displayed a small-to-medium relationship with maladaptive motivation and emotion/well-being and were unrelated to performance. After controlling for the relationship between the two dimensions of perfectionism, the relationships displayed by residual perfectionistic strivings were indicative of it being less problematic, and the relationships displayed by residual perfectionistic concerns were indicative of it being more problematic than their unresidualized counterparts. There was also some preliminary evidence that some of the relationships were moderated by gender, age, sport type, and instrument. The findings suggest that perfectionistic concerns are clearly maladaptive for athletes, whereas perfectionistic strivings are complex and ambiguous.

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