Exploring the Etiology of Perfectionism and Perceptions of Self-worth in Young Athletes

S McArdle, Joan Duda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)
673 Downloads (Pure)


This study assessed the main and interactive effects of perceived parental expectations and perceived parental criticism on 180 young talented athletes' perfectionistic tendencies and level and reported fluctuation in self-esteem. A potential quadratic effect of perceived parental expectations on the targeted dependent variables was also tested. Moderated hierarchical regression analyses indicated that perceived parental criticism was the strongest predictor of concerns over mistakes and doubts about actions whereas perceived parental expectations were positively related to personal standards only. Self-esteem was predicted by high perceived parental expectations and low perceived parental criticism. Children's reported fluctuation in self-esteem was highest when perceived parental criticism was high and perceived parental expectations were deemed high or low. The results argue against a unidimensional and linear examination of factors relating to the etiology of perfectionism and perceptions of self-worth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-997
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • level and stability of self-esteem
  • parental attitudes
  • perfectionism
  • academically talented children
  • achievement goals
  • depression
  • dimensions
  • parents
  • scale
  • adjustment
  • styles
  • esteem
  • sex


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