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Perfectionism, dysfunctional achievement striving and burnout in aspiring athletes: The motivational implications for performing artists.

Hill, AP and Hall, HK (2012) Perfectionism, dysfunctional achievement striving and burnout in aspiring athletes: The motivational implications for performing artists. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training Journal, 3. 216 - 228 (13). ISSN 1944-3927

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Abstract

While perfectionism is a personality characteristic that may energise heightened achievement striving and lead to considerable success, it may also elicit a range of maladaptive processes which undermine motivation, impair performance and contribute to psychological distress. This paper is informed by research on perfectionism in social, clinical and sport psychology. It presents evidence to suggest that perfectionism may have paradoxical effects on those seeking to excel in sport, and warns that the same debilitating processes may be observed in other performance contexts. After first outlining the nature of perfectionism, the paper attempts to differentiate perfectionism from adaptive achievement striving, and explain the process by which perfectionism may undermine the quality of motivation and contribute to burnout in aspiring athletes. It then presents evidence to demonstrate that this characteristic may have similarly debilitating consequences in the performing arts. Finally, the paper offers some practical strategies for those working with performing artists exhibiting perfectionistic tendencies. These strategies focus upon modification of psychological mechanisms which underpin debilitating patterns of cognition, affect and behaviour, and they suggest how perfectionism and its destructive effects might be successfully managed in performance contexts while enabling individuals to sustain high quality motivation in their pursuit of excellence.

Item Type: Article
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2012 10:45
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:40
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2012.693534
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/19443927.2012.693534
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74587

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