Parental conditional regard and the development of perfectionism in adolescent athletes: The mediating role of competence contingent self-worth.

Despite evidence highlighting the debilitating nature of perfectionism in sport, few studies have examined how it develops. In explaining the development of perfectionism, theorists emphasize controlling parental practices in family contexts replete with conditional regard. This study, then, tested the role of parental conditional regard in the development of perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns among adolescent athletes. It also tested the mediating role of competence contingent self-worth in these associations. One hundred and forty-eight (Mage = 15.12 years, SD = 1.64) adolescent athletes competing at the regional level or above in their primary sport completed measures of multidimensional perfectionism, competence contingent self-worth, and parental conditional regard. In line with hypotheses, structural equation modeling showed that perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns were positively predicted by parental conditional regard. As expected, competence contingent self-worth mediated both relationships. The findings are the first to suggest that conditional regard from parents is important in the development of perfectionism among adolescent athletes because these behaviors contribute to contingencies of self-worth that are based on competence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)