Date of Graduation
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
Sport and Exercise Psychology
Sam J. Zizzi
Edward F. Etzel
Literature pertaining to mindfulness and perfectionism in sport has expanded greatly in recent years. However, little research has integrated mindfulness and perfectionism, particularly within sports where athletes are judged on performance to a standard of perfection. The current study had two primary aims: (1) to explore profiles of mindfulness and perfectionism among intercollegiate gymnasts through a person-centered approach, and (2) to analyze differences in objective performance measures across the resulting profiles. The analytic sample consisted of 244 NCAA gymnasts representing NCAA Division I, II, and III institutions. Gymnasts completed self-report measures of mindfulness and perfectionism. Competitive performance records (i.e., national qualifying scores) were then gathered for participating gymnasts. Cluster analyses revealed a three-cluster solution: a moderate mindfulness, high perfectionism profile; a low mindfulness, low/moderate perfectionism profile; and a high mindfulness, very low perfectionism profile. Although competitive performance differences were not observed among the three profiles, exploratory post hoc pairwise comparisons indicated potential performance differences on vault and bars. Interestingly, gymnasts in different profiles performed more favorably on each event. Small to moderate effect size estimates provide some evidence that perfectionism may be adaptive to gymnastics performance. Elite level gymnasts were represented across three distinct profiles, suggesting that more than one profile of characteristics may be adaptive for reaching high levels of performance. Further, the sport context might be considered when interpreting the practical significance of the findings. The results can be used to help coaches, researchers, and practitioners better understand how mindfulness and perfectionism are expressed among athletes in a judged sport, and how these tendencies may be impactful in different ways. Future research exploring determinants of performance and mental health concurrently could provide further understanding of whether the characteristics that facilitate performance are congruent with those that facilitate wellbeing.
Van Dyke, Erika D., "Being Mindful of Perfectionism and Performance Among Athletes in a Judged Sport" (2019). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7428.