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Perfectionism and precompetition emotions in youth footballers: A three-wave longitudinal test of the mediating role of perfectionistic cognitions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tracy DonachieORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Human Kinetics, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Perfectionism is related to precompetition emotions in athletes. However, it is unclear why this is the case. In the present study,the authors sought to determine whether perfectionistic cognitions explain this relationship and mediate the relationships betweenself-oriented perfectionism (SOP), socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP), and general precompetition emotions and multidi-mensional anxiety and anger. The authors adopted a three-wave longitudinal design and examined between- and within-personeffects in a sample of 352 youth footballers (Mage= 14.03 years,SD= 2.30). At the between-person level, perfectionisticcognitions mediated the relationships between SOP, SPP, and all general precompetition emotions plus multidimensional anxietyand anger. At the within-person level, perfectionistic cognitions mediated the relationships between SOP, SPP, and generalanxiety and anger plus multidimensional anxiety and anger. Our findings imply that athletes higher in SOP and SPP experience more anxiety and anger when the frequency of perfectionistic cognitions increases in the lead-up to competition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Donachie TC, Hill AP, Madigan DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Year: 2019

Volume: 41

Issue: 5

Pages: 309-319

Print publication date: 31/08/2019

Online publication date: 31/08/2019

Acceptance date: 13/11/2019

Date deposited: 07/06/2021

ISSN (print): 0895-2779

ISSN (electronic): 1543-2904

Publisher: Human Kinetics


DOI: 10.1123/jsep.2018-0317


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