Emotion Regulation and Coping as Mediators of the Association between Perfectionism and Self-Esteem in Athletes Compared to Non-athletes and Honors Students
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Science in Psychological Science (MSPS)
NACO controlled Corporate Body
University of North Florida. Department of Psychology
Dr. Paul Fuglestad
Dr. Dawn Witherspoon
Dr. Lori Lange
Increased levels of perfectionism have been shown to be associated with increased levels of burnout, feelings of depression, heightened levels of anxiety, decreased self-esteem, and hindered overall performance. The current study aimed to investigate whether coping mechanisms and emotion regulation mediate the association between perfectionism and self-esteem in athletes compared to non-athletes and honors students. Four hundred ninety-three primarily white (n = 60.0 %), female (n = 83.0 %), psychology major, participants aged 18-49, completed a series of questionnaires including: the Self-Esteem Implicit Association Test (Greenwald et al., 2002), the Self-liking and Self-Competence Scale (Tafarodi & Swann Jr, 1995), the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (Garnefski & Kraaij, 2006), the Coping Function Questionnaire (Kowalski & Crocker, 2001), and the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Hewitt et al., 1991). If participants engaged in competitive athletics, they answered questions from the Sport Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Dunn et al., 2006). An ANOVA examined mean differences in all scales between groups, which indicated significant differences in self-oriented perfectionism, socially prescribed perfectionism, and adaptive coping mechanisms. Athletes scored significantly lower than honors students in self-oriented perfectionism (p = .019, d = .30). Additionally, non-athletes scored significantly lower than honors students in self-oriented perfectionism (p = .030, d = .31). Athletes scored significantly lower than honors students in socially prescribed perfectionism (p = .014, d = .29). Further, athletes scored significantly higher than both non-athletes (p = .040, d =.24), and honors students (p = .015, d = .32) in adaptive coping. There were no other significant group differences. Model 4 mediation in PROCESS macro for SPSS was used to examine the relationship between perfectionism and self-esteem. Greater self-oriented perfectionism predicted lower self-liking and self-competence through maladaptive emotion regulation techniques, -.145, 95% CI [-.031, -.012], -.008, 95% CI [-.011, -.004]. Greater socially prescribed perfectionism also predicted lower self-liking and self-competence through maladaptive and adaptive emotion regulation techniques, -.021, 95% CI [-.029, -.013], -.-.008, 95% CI [-.011, -.005], -.004, 95% CI [-.007, -.001], -.001, 95% CI [-.003, -.000]. No other pathways from socially prescribed or self-oriented perfectionism to implicit self-esteem were significant. Given that many individuals have participated in high-stress activities like athletics or academics, the lasting impacts of prolonged pressure can lead to negative self-views and should be further researched.
Minichiello, Hollie, "Emotion Regulation and Coping as Mediators of the Association between Perfectionism and Self-Esteem in Athletes Compared to Non-athletes and Honors Students" (2022). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 1127.