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Title: Psychological ill-being in athletes : the role of perfectionism within the football environment
Author: Smith, Esmie Paressa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 9849
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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Athletes are frequently reporting psychological ill-being including serious mental health issues such as depression. Research, then, has an important role in developing our understanding of psychological ill-being in athletes to help towards establishing preventative and intervening strategies. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to investigate potential correlates and antecedents of ill-being in athletes. In line with this aim, the first study presented a comprehensive systematic review of 59 studies that had examined depression in athletes. Prevalence of depression was varied (i.e., 11%-58% symptoms; 4%-34% clinical), correlates/risk factors were also identified (i.e., socio-demographic, life events, performance and career satisfaction, individual differences, interpersonal relationships and support, well-being and ill-being), and few studies had examined moderators of depression. Perfectionism was among the correlates identified and subsequently became the focus of this thesis in the context of football. The second study investigated the relationship between perfectionism, burnout and depression in youth footballers over three months. Findings revealed that socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP) had a reciprocal relationship with burnout symptoms, and depressive symptoms predicted SPP. The third study sought to establish whether the coach-created climate moderated the perfectionism – ill-being relationship. Findings revealed that a disempowering climate exacerbated reduced sense of accomplishment in youth footballers exhibiting high levels of SPP and self-oriented perfectionism (SOP). In the final study, qualitative methods were used to explore former professional footballer’s perceptions of being a perfectionist and how, in their view, it influenced their lives during their career. Findings illuminated the multidimensional nature of perfectionism and the football environment was thought to influence perfectionistic tendencies. In addition, findings similarly aligned with the concept of perfectionistic reactivity as participants discussed psychological, social and physical responses during times of challenge and adversity. Collectively, these studies suggest that perfectionism can be a vulnerability factor for ill-being in athletes. However, this relationship is complex with the situational context being especially important in understanding this relationship.
Supervisor: Hill, Andrew P. ; Hall, Howard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available