The relationship between perfectionism and athlete engagement among male adolescent athletes: the moderating role of coach autonomy support
Master of Science
MetadataShow full item record
Athlete engagement is a positive state of mind capturing athletes’ feelings of enthusiasm, confidence, vigour, and dedication toward their sport and may result from basic psychological needs satisfaction (Hodge, Lonsdale, & Jackson, 2009; Lonsdale, Hodge, & Raedeke, 2007). As perfectionism is common in athletes, the present study examined whether athletes with different perfectionism profiles differed across these engagement characteristics and tested whether those differences were moderated by coach autonomy support. A sample of 191 male youth club basketball and football players (Mage = 16.59, SD = 0.67) completed measures of athlete engagement, sport perfectionism, and coach autonomy support. Latent profile analysis was used to categorize participants according to their standings across perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns. A 3-class model was adopted with groups representing non-perfectionistic athletes, moderately perfectionistic athletes, and highly perfectionistic athletes. Multiple regression was then used to test for class differences and moderation effects (see Hayes & Montoya, 2017). Across each characteristic, highly perfectionistic athletes reported higher engagement levels in comparison to moderately perfectionistic athletes regardless of levels of coach autonomy support. On vigour and dedication, though, class differences involving non-perfectionistic athletes were moderated by coach autonomy support. For both characteristics, non-perfectionistic athletes reported lower engagement levels than highly perfectionistic athletes when coach autonomy support was low. However, group differences on vigour and dedication between comparisons with the non-perfectionistic athletes were significantly moderated by coach autonomy support. The discussion compares the adopted 3-class model with those produced in past research and speculates as to why fostering autonomy support may have the greatest influence on engagement among athletes who are low, but not high, in perfectionism.