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The 2 x 2 Model of Pressure to be Perfect and the Development of Perfectionism in Youth Sport

Fleming, Daniel (2019) The 2 x 2 Model of Pressure to be Perfect and the Development of Perfectionism in Youth Sport. Masters thesis, York St John University.

Text (MSc by Research Thesis)
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Sport is extremely popular with the youth of today. There are many benefits of sport participation for these individuals. However, there may also be some downsides to youth sport participation. In particular, excessive pressures from parents and coaches may lead youth athletes to develop characteristics, which can have negative consequences, such as perfectionism. Perfectionism is a multidimensional personality characteristic that comprises two higher order dimensions, perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. Both dimensions have been associated with many maladaptive outcomes such as exercise dependence and clinical issues such as depression, eating disorders and suicide. In order to further our understanding of this characteristic, the present study aimed to introduce and test a new model of the development of perfectionism in youth athletes – the 2 × 2 model of pressure to be perfect. This model differentiates four within-person combinations of pressure: Pure coach pressure (high coach pressure/low parent pressure), pure parent pressure (high parent pressure/low coach pressure), mixed pressure (high coach pressure/high parent pressure), and no pressure (low coach pressure/low parent pressure). A sample of 159 youth athletes (M age = 14.21 years) competing from club to international level completed measures of perfectionistic strivings, perfectionistic concerns, coach pressure to be perfect, and parent pressure to be perfect. The 2 × 2 model was tested using moderated hierarchical regression and simple slopes analyses. As no interactive effect was found between pure coach pressure and pure parent pressure, a compensatory model was used in order to test the model’s hypotheses and calculate effect sizes. Pure parent pressure (high parent pressure/low coach pressure) emerged as the most important predictor of both perfectionistic strivings and concerns. These findings may be useful for guiding future educational programmes to help parents best support their children in sport.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Published
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0557 Sports
School/Department: School of Science, Technology and Health
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4821

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