Gittens, Celine Yasmin (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This research investigated perfectionism in elite ballet dancers and artistic gymnasts. Adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism were examined with an interest in pre-performance anxiety as this can aid or hinder performance. Coping methods applied to alleviate symptoms of pre-performance anxiety were noted. Ballet and gymnastics were of interest because previous research recorded that adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism existed in these careers as performers strive to attain high standards. A mixed-method approach was utilized to investigate the research aims. Results demonstrated that dancers scored on two maladaptive dimensions. Higher ranked dancers and lower ranked gymnasts experienced increased levels of anxiety. Two of four dancers interviewed perceived pre-performance anxiety as facilitative, while all gymnasts interviewed perceived anxiety as facilitative. Both groups applied pre-performance anxiety coping methods. Only gymnasts mentioned that others influenced the application of coping strategies with pre-performance anxiety and mistakes made in competition. Future research should continue to investigate, coping strategies with pre-performance anxiety and mistakes during performance, maladaptive perfectionism symptoms as performance enhancers, and the effects of nutrition on the mental and physical functions of performers.
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