The relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and passion in junior athletes

Thomas Curran *, Andrew P. Hill **, Gareth E. Jowett *** and Sarah H. Mallinson ***

(*) Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, UK
(**) School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, UK
(***) Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, York St John University, UK


Curran, T., P. Hill, A., E. Jowett, G., H. Mallinson, S. (2014). The relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and passion in junior athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 45(4), 369-384. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2014.45.369


Research suggests that self-oriented perfectionism and socially prescribed perfectionism have unique and distinct motivational properties that are evident among junior athletes. Likewise, harmonious and obsessive passions encompass distinctive patterns of motivation. Based on suggestions that different dimensions of perfectionism may be associated with varying types of passion, the aim of the current study was to test the possibility that self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism could be distinguished based on their relationship with harmonious and obsessive passion in junior athletes. Two hundred and forty-nine athletes (M age = 16.07, SD = 2.22) competing in various youth sports completed measures of perfectionism and passion. Multiple regression and canonical correlation analyses indicated that self-oriented perfectionism predicted higher levels of both types of passion. In contrast, socially prescribed perfectionism predicted only obsessive passion. The findings provide an initial indication that the motivational differences between self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism extend to the types of passion they engender. The findings also provide additional insight into the patterns of motivation that are likely to arise from the two dimensions of perfectionism in junior athletes.

Keywords: Motivation, Personality, Sport, Youth