The relationship between perceived competence and perfectionism in sport /

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Watson, Tiffany
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purposes of this dissertation were two-fold: (1) to explore the trait and situational components of the perfectionism construct, and (2) to explore the relationship between perfectionism, perceived competence (PC), and the sport-related factors of sport type (team and individual) and level of competition (high school/community, state, and college).
The sample included 239 high school and collegiate athletes, all current participants in at least one sport. Participants completed a 35-item unidimensional sport perfectionism inventory as well as a PC rating scale. The PC scale consisted of a researcher generated item and a 6-item subscale of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (III; McAuley, Duncan, & Tammen, 1989). Both used a Likert-type scale. Rasch model analysis (Rasch, 1960) was used to create logit scores for all participants on perfectionism and PC to give scores an additive quality. Intraclass correlation (ICC), within-subjects multivariate general linear model (GLM), and linear regression were used to examine the data.
ICC yielded a positive and significant relationship (r = .65) between perfectionism scores high and low competence sport domains. However, PC did not yield a significant relationship based on ICC (r = .29).
Multivariate GLM analysis for the full interaction model yielded one significant interaction between PC and level of competition (p = .002). The full model was divided into high and low competence yielding a significant interaction in the low competence model, p = .016. Post hoc analysis in the form of linear regression revealed that perfectionism scores varied as a function of PC for high school/community (p = .012) athletes only. There was no significant interaction in the high competence model, but main effects for the effect of level of competition (p = .027), and type of sport (p = .020) on perfectionism scores.
Interaction and main effects suggest that in certain sport situations, perfectionism scores may be affected by PC, level of competition and type of sport. Future research should continue to extend the literature on the trait and situational components of the construct to develop a more comprehensive model of perfectionism and performance. Athletes, coaches, and practitioners can learn from the influence of sport-related characteristics on perfectionist tendencies and use psychological skills training to overcome these effects.
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