Relation of perfectionism with athletes' burnout: further examination

Percept Mot Skills. 2008 Jun;106(3):811-20. doi: 10.2466/pms.106.3.811-820.


The purpose was to examine the different aspects of perfectionism and athletes' burnout. College athletes (N = 320) with mean age of 19.7 yr. (SD = 1.4) completed the Chinese version of the Multiple Perfectionism Scale for Sport and the Eades' Athlete Burnout Inventory. Results indicated that perfectionism could be separated into adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism. Adaptive perfectionism was linked to reduced athletes' burnout while maladaptive perfectionism was associated with athletes' burnout. In addition, significant interaction was found between adaptive perfec tionism and maladaptive perfectionism on athletes' burnout. Results suggest that high maladaptive perfectionism and low adaptive perfectionism corresponds to higher scores on athletes' burnout. Perfectionism should not be treated as an all-or-nothing disposition. The extent of athlete burnout can vary with the interaction effects of the two types of perfectionism. In terms of practical implications in intervention work, coaches and sport psychologists should try to reduce athletes' maladaptive perfectionism and increase adaptive perfectionism.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Athletic Performance / psychology
  • Burnout, Professional / diagnosis
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Defense Mechanisms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Concept*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sports / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires