Perfectionism and Grit in Competitive Sport

  • John Dunn University of Alberta
  • Danielle Cormier University of Saskatchewan
  • Shintaro Kono University of Alberta
  • Janice Causgrove Dunn University of Alberta
  • James Rumbold Sheffield hallam University
Keywords: Athletes; Consistency of interest; Perfectionistic concerns; Perfectionistic strivings; Perseverance of effort


Perfectionism and grit have both been linked to the achievement-striving process in sport, yet very little is known about the relationships between the two constructs. The present study explored the degree to which perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns predicted two dimensions of grit—consistency of interest and perseverance of effort—in a sample of 251 intercollegiate varsity athletes (Mage = 20.34 years; SD = 2.0). Both perfectionism and grit were conceptualized and measured as multidimensional domain-specific constructs. Results of structural equation modeling analyses indicated that perfectionistic strivings was positively associated with consistency of interest (β = .49, p < .001) and perseverance of effort (β = .92, p < .001). In contrast, perfectionistic concerns was negatively associated with both consistency of interest (β = -.47, p < .001) and perseverance of effort (β = -.66, p < .001). Results indicate that higher-order dimensions of perfectionism (i.e., perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns) are associated with domain-specific aspects of grit in sport. Results highlight the importance of (a) differentiating between athletes’ perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns in sport, and (b) treating consistency of interest and perseverance of effort as separate components of grit. Future research that examines the combined effects of perfectionism and grit on the achievement-striving process in competitive sport is recommended.


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