Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise and Sport Sciences


Perfectionism can be defined as striving for perfection and setting excessively high standards along with tendencies of hypercritical evaluation of behaviors (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990). Recent research suggested that perfectionism might differ between domains (e.g., academics, athletics). For example, Dunn, Dunn, and McDonald (2012) showed that student-athletes perceived higher perfectionistic tendencies in athletics compared to academics. However, it is unknown whether there were differences between excelling athletes (e.g., All-Americans) and their teammates. As such, the purpose of the present study was two-fold: a) to examine the differences between excelling athletes (i.e., qualifying for Academic All-American) and their teammates, and b) to explore predictors of perfectionism in academics and athletics. In total, 199 NCAA athletes (female n = 106, Mage = 19.49, SDage = 1.19; male n = 91, Mage = 19.35, SDage = 1.17) completed domain-specific (i.e., academics and athletics) measures of perfectionism, intolerance of uncertainty, perceptions of competence and importance, satisfaction, and stress. Fifty-eight participants met the criteria for Academic All-american (i.e., GPA > 3.3, starting status) and were considered as ‘excelling’. To compare excelling student athletes to their teammates, three mixed-model ANOVAs were conducted. Athletes in both groups generally showed significantly higher perceptions of perfectionism in athletics compared to academics on all dimensions. For the second purpose of the study, six multiple regressions predicting perfectionism in both domains were conducted. Prospective intolerance of uncertainty was the strongest predictor in all six regressions.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.