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Gender Differences in Sports Essay

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Perfectionism has been defined as a belief; it is something that sociologically and by definition is unattainable. People strive to be perfect everyday and come to believe that any work that is anything less than perfect is unacceptable. Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate (1990) define perfectionism as "the setting of excessively high standards of performance in conjunction with a tendency to make overly critical self-evaluations". According to psychologist Don E. Hamachek perfectionism is considered on some levels as an unhealthy compulsive behavior. Perfectionism is also considered a stable pattern of thinking and behavior that changes relatively little over time. This has contributed to the designation of perfectionism as a positive characteristic correlating with terms such as adaptive, normal, healthy, and functional. Perfectionism may be viewed as a desirable or undesirable attribute but it has been deemed a necessity in the performance of athletes. Numerous sport organizations strive for perfectionism and require athletes to achieve perfect performance outcomes each and every year. In the past decade sport psychology researchers wonder if gender plays a role in conceptualizing maladaptive sport perfectionism.
Studies in recent years have been concerned with identifying components of perfectionism, examining the adaptive and maladaptive dimensions of athletes’ determination to be perfect. It was found that striving for perfection during training periods and off-season training resulted in higher performance in new tasks when then in the designated competitive season. According to Enns and Cox (2002) and Flett and Hewitt (2005), adaptive perfectionism reflects setting reasonably challenging and achievable goals, high pe...


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...r, C., & Stoll, O. (2007). Perfectionism and competitive
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to imperfection. Personality and Individual Differences, 42. 959-969.

Stoll, O., Lau, A., & Stoeber, J. (2008). Perfectionism and performance in a new basketball
training task: Does striving for perfection enhance or undermine performance? Psychology
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Tang, T.L.P., Sutarso, T., Davis, G.M., Dolinski, D., Ibrahim, A.H.S., & Wagner, S.L.
(2008). To help or not to help? The good Samaritan effect and the love of money on
helping behavior Journal of Business Ethics, 82, 865-887.

Vandenberg, R.J., & Lance, C.E. (2000). A review and synthesis of the measurement
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