Injury, Stress, and Perfectionism in Young Dancers and Gymnasts

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Injuries, psychological stress, and perfectionism were examined in three groups of young elite performers: ballet dancers, modern dancers, and artistic gymnasts. Similar to the adult population, a high incidence of injury was found for all three groups. Results revealed a greater number of hip injuries in young ballet dancers and gymnasts than typically found in the adult population. Variations were found among the groups in injury management, and duration of time training was modified. Relationships between injury and stress, and injury and perfectionism were not uniform across groups. The study points to the importance of distinguishing between positive and negative stressors in role specific activities. The complexities of the stress/injury phenomenon and the multifaceted nature of the perfectionism variable were identified. The authors emphasize the need for further research and education in the area of youth injuries and psychological correlates in order to minimize the negative effects on young elite performers.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Dance at York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada 2: Department of Physical Education and Health at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada and in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada 3: Department of Physical Education and Health at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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