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Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine

Perfectionism and Psychological Functioning in Sport Activity: Mediating Role of Basic Psychological Needs

Submission: August 30, 2022;Published: October 14, 2022

DOI: 10.31031/RISM.2022.09.000705

ISSN: 2577-1914
Volume9 Issue1


It is demonstrated that the practice of a sport activity (SA) can bring significant benefits [1-3] and negatives outcomes [4-8]. Perfectionism is a personality trait that can influence the psychological functioning of athletes [9]. Nevertheless, two dimensions of perfectionism (i.e., personal high standards (PHS) and perfectionistic concerns (PC)), alone, don’t fully explain the quality of individuals’ psychological functioning [10,11]. Basic psychological needs (BPN) can also explain the quality of athletes’ psychological functioning [12-15]. The aim of this study is to examine the relation between two dimensions of perfectionism, satisfaction and frustration of basic psychological needs (BPN), and psychological functioning in sport (i.e., positive emotions (PE) and negative emotions (NE) and flow state) in an adult population practicing individual/team SA. 304 participants practicing a SA at least once a month were retained for the analysis (42% men and 58% women; mean age was 32.65 years (SD = 12.05)). Results suggests that BPN satisfaction and frustration are two distinct constructs, as Bartholomew, Ntoumanis, Ryan & Thogersen-Ntoumani [16] underlined. In both models, PHS is positively and directly associated with positive psychological functioning and PC is directly associated to negative psychological functioning. Also, satisfaction of the need for competence is a mediator that may limit the negative effects of PC. Finally, it appears that the frustration of the need for social belonging is significant mediator of the relation between PC and psychological functioning. Frustration of the need for autonomy is a significant mediator of the relation between both dimension of perfectionism and NE. These results highlight the importance of assessing satisfaction and frustration of BPN to better understand how they can influence psychological functioning of individuals that present high level of PC. Future studies should attempt to target causal relationships between BPN, dimensions of perfectionism and functioning in SA.

Keywords:Perfectionism; Basic psychological needs; Positive and negative emotions; Flow state; Well-Being; Sports, Motivation, Performance

Abbreviations:SA: Sport Activity; PC: Perfectionistic Concerns; PHS: Personal High Standards; BPN: Basic Psychological Needs; SDT: Self-Determination Theory; PE: Positive Emotions; NE: Negative Emotions; SAT: Satisfaction; FRU: Frustration; AUT: Autonomy; BEL: Belonging; COMP: Competence

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