Perfectionistic profiles among elite athletes and differences in their motivational orientations

Daniel F. Gucciardi*, John Mahoney, Geoffrey Jalleh, Robert J. Donovan, Jarred Parkes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although there is an emerging body of research that has examined perfectionistic clusters in the general population, few studies have explored such profiles in athlete samples. The purposes of this research were to explore perfectionistic profiles within a sample of elite athletes and the differences between them on key motivational variables. A sample of 423 elite athletes (179 males, 244 females) aged between 14 and 66 years (M = 25.64; SD = 8.57) from a variety of team (e.g., rowing, hockey, baseball, rugby) and individual sports (e.g., cycling, athletics, triathlon, gymnastics) completed a multisection questionnaire including measures of sport perfectionism, motivation regulation, achievement goals, and fear of failure. Cluster analyses revealed the existence of three perfectionism profiles, namely, nonperfectionists, maladaptive perfectionists, and adaptive perfectionists. Subsequent analyses generally supported the robustness of these perfectionism profiles in terms of differential motivational orientations (achievement goals, fear of failure, and motivation regulation) in hypothesized directions. Overall, the differences in motivational orientations between the three clusters supported a categorical conceptualization of perfectionism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-183
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume34
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Achievement goals
  • Categorical conceptualization
  • Cluster analysis
  • Fear of failure
  • Person-centered analyses

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