The Perils of Perfectionism in Sports and Exercise

  title={The Perils of Perfectionism in Sports and Exercise},
  author={Gordon L. Flett and Paul L. Hewitt},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={14 - 18}
  • G. Flett, P. Hewitt
  • Published 1 February 2005
  • Education, Psychology
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
Perfectionism is a multidimensional personality construct that has been linked with various forms of maladjustment. In this article, we discuss the role of perfectionism as a maladaptive factor in sports and exercise, and we describe a phenomenon we identify as the perfectionism paradox. We note that even though certain sports require athletes to achieve perfect performance outcomes, the tendency to be characterized by perfectionistic personality traits and to be cognitively preoccupied with… 
Perfectionism and Performance
Abstract Perfectionism is a personality disposition related to individual differences in performance in sport, school, and other areas of life where performance, tests, and competition play a major
Perfectionism and Mood States Among Recreational and Elite Athletes
Recently, perfectionism has become a focus of attention in applied psychology. In athletic populations, both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism have been found to exist (Terry-Short et al., 1995)
The dual nature of perfectionism in sports: relationships with emotion, motivation, and performance
Perfectionism is a prevalent characteristic in athletes. Yet some researchers have argued that perfectionism in sports is maladaptive because it undermines athletes’ performance and stifles athletic
Conceptualizing Maladaptive Sport Perfectionism as a Function of Gender
The purpose of the present study was to conceptualize maladaptive forms of sport perfectionism by determining the factors (and items within each factor) that best describe this construct among
Perfectionism in Sport, Dance, and Exercise
Perfect performance, flawlessness, and the perfect body are revered in sport, dance, and exercise. As such, sport, dance, and exercise provide ideal domains in which to study perfectionism. This
Perfectionism, dysfunctional achievement striving and burnout in aspiring athletes: the motivational implications for performing artists
While perfectionism is a personality characteristic that may energise heightened achievement striving and lead to considerable success, it may also elicit a range of maladaptive processes which
The relationship between perfectionism, eating disorders and athletes
Perfectionism is a potentially maladaptive personality trait implicated in a number of psychopathologies. As our understanding of the construct perfectionism has shifted from more unidimensionally
Management of Sports Multi Dimensional Perfectionism throughTeachers training Programme in Physical Education
Objective: Perfectionism is traditionally viewed as an enduring personality trait (Hewitt & Flett, 1991). Theorists concur that the setting of high performance standards is a central feature of the
Multidimensional Perfectionism in Sport: A Meta-Analytical Review
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


Perfectionism and Reactions to Athletic Competition
This exploratory study examined the relationship of perfectionism (from a recently devised multidimensional measure) with female athletes' reactions to athletic competition and coaches' ratings of
Perfectionism in the self and social contexts: conceptualization, assessment, and association with psychopathology.
It is demonstrated that the perfectionism construct is multidimensional, comprising both personal and social components, and that these components contribute to severe levels of psychopathology.
Relationship Between Multidimensional Perfectionism and Goal Orientations in Sport
This study examined the relationship between perfectionism and goal orientations among male Canadian Football players (M age = 18.24 years). Athletes (N = 174) completed inventories to assess
Precompetitive Anxiety in Sport: The Contribution of Achievement Goals and Perfectionism
This investigation employed Smith’s (1996) model of performance-related anxiety to examine links between perfectionism, achievement goals, and the temporal patterning of multidimensional state
The interpersonal expression of perfection: perfectionistic self-presentation and psychological distress.
It is argued that the need to promote one's perfection or the desire to conceal one's imperfection involves self-esteem regulation in the interpersonal context.
The dimensions of perfectionism
Perfectionism is a major diagnostic criterion for one DSM-III diagnosis, and it has been hypothesized to play a major role in a wide variety of psychopathologies. Yet there is no precise definition
Perfectionism : theory, research, and treatment
Perfectionism and Maladjustment: An Overview of Theoretical, Definitional, and Treatment Issues - Gordon L. Flett and Paul L. Hewitt - The Nature and Assessment of Perfectionism: A Critical Analysis
Perfectionism, Cognition, and Affect in Response to Performance Failure vs. Success
The current paper describes the results of an experiment in which 200 students who varied in levels of trait perfectionism performed a laboratory task of varying levels of difficulty. Participants