Perfectionism and attitudes towards doping in athletes: A continuously cumulating meta-analysis and test of the 2 × 2 model

Daniel J. Madigan*, Sarah H. Mallinson-Howard, Michael C. Grugan, Andrew P. Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Perfectionism may promote engagement in illegal and unacceptable behaviours such as doping. To examine this idea, in the present study, we had two aims. First, we re-examined the relationship between perfectionism and attitudes towards doping and, in doing so, conducted a continuously cumulating meta-analysis. Second, we extended our understanding of this relationship by providing the first test of the 2 × 2 model of perfectionism in context of doping. A sample of 181 university athletes (mean age 18.5 years) completed measures of perfectionism (evaluative concerns perfectionism [ECP] and personal standards perfectionism [PSP]) and attitudes toward doping. A continuously cumulating meta-analysis based on five studies (including the present study; N = 952) indicated that ECP showed a significant small-to-medium positive relationship with attitudes towards doping (r+ = .21), whereas PSP showed a nonsignificant small positive relationship with attitudes towards doping (r+ = .07). In addition, moderated regression analysis provided support for two hypotheses of the 2 × 2 model. Specifically, pure ECP (high ECP, low PSP) was associated with more favourable attitudes towards doping than mixed perfectionism (high ECP, high PSP) and non-perfectionism (low ECP, low PSP). The present findings suggest that ECP is a significant positive predictor of attitudes towards doping and that athletes who exhibit a combination of high ECP and low PSP are the most likely to be at risk of doping. Consequently, a focus on reducing ECP may be a valuable addition to anti-doping education programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1254
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Volume20
Issue number9
Early online date18 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

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