Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The effects of perfectionism in elite sport: Experiences of unhealthy perfectionists

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-12-12, 16:38 authored by Paul SellarsPaul Sellars, Lynne Evans, Owen Thomas

 This study examined the perfectionism experiences of 10 elite perfectionist athletes (5 male and 5 female). Following completion of the Sport Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale-2 (Gotwals & Dunn, 2009), a purposeful sample of unhealthy perfectionists were interviewed in relation to the study aims. Several themes emerged from the data that related to: effects of perfectionism and its antecedents on sporting experiences, specificity and level of perfectionism, and the coping skills and techniques used to counter the potentially detrimental effects of perfectionism. The findings highlighted the multidimensional nature of perfectionism and the need for future research to further explore the efficacy of techniques athletes use to promote healthy and reduce unhealthy facets of perfectionism. 


Published in

The Sport Psychologist


Human Kinetics

Publication Year



  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Sellars, P.A., Evans, L. and Thomas, O. (2016) 'The Effects of Perfectionism in Elite Sport: Experiences of Unhealthy Perfectionists', The Sport Psychologist, 30(3), pp.219-230.

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Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Paul Sellars Lynne Evans Owen Thomas

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Sport and Performance Psychology

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

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    Applied Sport Science - Journal Articles