Dr. Eric M. Martin
In general, perfectionism means to not accept any results that are not considered “flawless”. Perfectionism is a topic that has been widely researched in clinical settings but more research is needed in the sports environment. The current project aims to investigate interventions aimed at reducing perfectionistic tendencies in the sport of gymnastics, a context that may be especially prone to developing perfectionism. There are two widely accepted dimensions of perfectionism: perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. Perfectionistic strivings are having high personal standards and wanting to achieve high goals while perfectionistic concerns are worries about making mistakes and evaluating oneself based on performance/mistakes. Perfectionistic striving typically produces adaptive outcomes, while perfectionistic concerns are viewed as the maladaptive aspects of perfectionism including poor performance, anger, anxiety, depression, and other maladaptive behaviors. (Dunn et. al, 2018). It is for this reason that perfectionistic concerns are targeted in interventions. One construct that seems to be possible to contrast the negative effects of perfectionistic concerns is self-compassion. Self-compassion is when someone has an accepting, supportive, and nonjudgmental attitude directed towards themselves and can alleviate suffering while enhancing overall mental health (Mosewich). The goal of incorporating this construct is to highlight perfectionistic striving elements and diminish perfectionistic concerns. For this project, we have developed four workshops that will be introduced to youth gymnasts in order to educate them about perfectionism and combat its negative effects in both sport and other domains. To evaluate the intervention, athletes will complete the Perceived Stress Scale, Sport Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, and Self-Compassion scale before and after the intervention.
Cain, Ellie and Martin, Eric M., "An Intervention to Combat the Negative Effects of Perfectionism by Incorporating Elements of Self-Compassion for Youth Gymnasts" (2023). 2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 38.