• Antonio Pineda-Espejel Facultad de Deportes, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México
  • Marina Trejo Facultad de Deportes, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México
  • Lucía Terán Facultad de Deportes, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México
  • Lourdes Cutti Facultad de Deportes, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México
  • Edgar Galarraga Facultad de Deportes, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México



stress, interpretation, perfectionism, parents, coach


The purpose of this study was to analyze the psychophysiological responses (anxiety, cortisol, heart rate, skin conductance) to acute psychological stress during a visualization of competition, under the influence of pressure for perfection exerted by parents, and pressure for perfection exercised by the coach. Artistic gymnasts (3 men and 3 women) with an age range of 13 to 15 years participated, who were present in four sessions for data collection that included salivary cortisol, heart rate and skin conductance. The first session was the baseline, where we apply a booklet of questionnaires that inquire about competitive anxiety and pressure for perfection. The remaining three sessions included guided viewing; session two to create mental images and live the gymnastic competition; the third highlights the pressure for perfection created by the coach (PPE); and the fourth highlights the pressure for perfection created by parents (PPP). The results showed that the visualization of competitive situation causes stress and anxiety, although the increase in salivary cortisol was within the normal daytime level. The physiological changes were greater in those gymnasts who perceived high PPE and PPP. However, for some gymnasts the situation was considered threatening (decrease in skin conductance, and small increases in heart rate), and for others was challenging (increase in skin conductance and heart rate). In conclusion, the pressure for perfection integrates a link for the different physiological responses in competition.


Download data is not yet available.


Aguilar, M.J., Sánchez, A.M., Mur, N., García, I., López, R., Ortegón, A., & Cortes, E. (2014). Cortisol salival como indicador de estrés fisiológico en niños y adultos: revisión sistemática [Salivary cortisol as an indicator of physiological stress in children and adults; a systematic review]. Nutrición Hospitalaria, 29(5), 960-968.

Amasiatu, D.N. (2013). Mental imagery reharsal as a psychological technique to enhancing sports performance. Educational Research International, 1(2), 69-77.

Blascovich, J. (2008). Challenge and threat. In A.J. Elliot (Ed.), Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation (pp. 431-445). New York: Psychology Press.

Boudarene, M., Legros, J.J., & Timsit-Berthier, M. (2002). Study of the stress response: Role of anxiety, cortisol and DHEAs. Encephale. 28, 139-146.

Brustad, R.J., Babkes, M.L., & Smith, A.L. (2001). Youth in sport: psychological considerations. In: R.N. Singer, H.A. Hausenblas & C.M. Janelle (Eds.) Handbook of Sport Psychology (pp. 604-635). 2nd Ed. New York: Wiley.

Cadore, E., Lhullier, F., Brentano, M., Silva, E., Ambrosini, M., Spinelli, R., …, & Kruel, L. (2008). Correlations between serum and salivary hormonal concentrations in response to resistance exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26, 1067–1072.

Cerin, E., & Barnett, A. (2011). Predictors of pre- and post-competition affective states in male martial artists: A multilevel interactional approach. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 21, 137–150.

Cerin, E., Szabo, A., Hunt, N., & Williams, C. (2000). Temporal patterning of competitive emotions: A critical review. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18, 605–626.

Crewther, B.T., Heke, T., & Keogh, J.W. (2011). The effects of training volume and competition on the salivary cortisol concentrations of Olympic weightlifters. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(1), 10-15.

De La Cuadra, D.S. (2013). La puesta en práctica de la visualización como técnica de auto control en la educación primaria. Revista Arista Digital, 30-39.

Donachie, T.C., Hill, A. P., & Hall, H.K. (2018). The relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and precompetition emotions of youth footballers. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 37, 33–42.

Dunn, J.G.H., & Causgrove Dunn, J. (2001). Relationships among the sport competition anxiety test, the sport anxiety scale, and the collegiate hockey worry scale. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 13, 411–429.

Dunn, J.G.H., Dunn, J.C., & Syrotiuk. D.G. (2002). Relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and goal orientation in sport. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 24, 376-395.

Dunn, J.G.H., Gotwals, J.K., Causgrove, J., & Lizmore, M.R. (2019). Perfectionism, pre-competitive worry, and optimism in high-performance youth athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (2017). Code of points 2017–2020 Men´s Artistic Gymnastics.

Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (2017). Code of points 2017–2020 Women´s Artistic Gymnastics.

Ferreira, M.R., Valdés, H.M., & González, E. (2002). Estrés en jugadores de fútbol: Una comparación Brasil y Cuba. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 2(1), 7-14.

Filaire, E., Alix, D., Ferrand, C., & Verger, M. (2009). Psychophysiological stress in tennis players during the first single match of a tournament. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 34(1), 150-157.

Flett, G.L., & Hewitt, P.L. (2005). The perils of perfectionism in sports and exercise. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(1), 14-18.

Flett, G.L., & Hewitt, P.L. (2016). Reflections on perfection and the pressure to be perfect in athletes, dancers, and exercisers. In A.P. Hill (Ed.), The psychology of perfectionism in sport, dance and excercise (pp. 298-320). Nueva York: Routledgde.

Frost, R. O., Marten, P., Lahart, C., & Rosenblate, R. (1990). The dimensions of perfectionism. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14(5), 449-468.

Georgopoulos, N. A., Rottstein, L., Tsekouras, A., Theodoropoulou, A., Koukkou, E., Mylonas, P., ... & Vagenakis, A. G. (2011). Abolished circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol in elite artistic gymnasts. Steroids, 76(4), 353-357.

González, J., Garcés de los Fayos, E., & Ortega, E. (2014). Avanzando en el camino de diferenciación psicológica del deportista. Ejemplos de diferencias en sexo y modalidad deportiva [Advancing on the road of psychological differentiation of sportsmen. Examples in differences in sex and sport mode]. Anuario de Psicología, 44(1), 31-44.

Guillen, F., & Sánchez, R. (2009). Competitive anxiety in expert female athletes: Sources and intensity of anxiety in national team and First Division Spanish basketball players. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 109, 407–419.

Hewitt, P. L., & Flett, G. L. (1991). Dimensions of perfectionism in unipolar depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(1), 98-101.

Hewitt, P. L., & Flett, G. L. (2002). Perfectionism and stress processes in psychopathology. In G. L. Flett, & P. L. Hewitt (Eds.), Perfectionism: Theory, research, and treatment (pp. 255–284). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Hill, A. P. (2016). The psychology of perfectionism in sport, dance and exercise. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hopkins, W.G., Marshall, S.W., Batterham, A.M., & Hanin, J. (2009). Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(1), 3-12.

Horn, T.S., & Weiss, M.R. (1991). A developmental analysis of children’s self-ability judgments in the physical domain Pediatric Exercise Science, 3, 310-326.

Ivanović, M., Milosavljević, S., & Ivanović, U. (2015). Perfectionism, anxiety in sport, and sport achievement in adolescence. Sport Science, 8, 35‐42.

Jones, G. (1995). More than just a game: Research developments and issues in competitive anxiety in sport. British Journal of Psychology, 86, 449-478.

Jones, G., & Hardy, L. (1990). Stress in sport: Experiences of some elite performers. In G. Jones & L. Hardy (Eds.), Stress and performance in sport (pp. 247-277). Chichester: John Wiley.

Jones, M., Meijen, C., McCarthy, P.J., & Sheffield, D. (2009). A theory of challenge and threat states in athletes. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2, 161-180.

Kim, K. J., Chung, J. W., Park, S., & Shin, J. T. (2009). Psychophysiological stress response during competition between elite and non-elite Korean junior golfers. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 30(7), 503-508.

Lautenbach, F., & Laborde, S. (2016). The influence of hormonal stress on performance. In M. Raab, B. Lobinger, S. Hoffmann, A. Pizzera y S. Laborde (Eds.), Performance psychology: Perception, action, cognition, and emotion (pp. 315-328). London, UK: Elsevier.

Lazarus, R.S. (1999). Stress and emotion: A new synthesis. New York: Springer.

Lundberg, U., & Frankenhaeuser, M. (1980). Pituitary-adrenal and sympathetic-adrenalcorrelates of distress and effort. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 24, 125–130.

Mandel, A.L., Ozdener, H., & Utermohlen, V. (2011). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in human saliva: ELISA optimization and biological correlates. Journal of Immunoassay and Immunochemistry, 32(1), 18-30.

Mckay, J.M., Selig, S.E., Carlson, J.S., & Morris, T. (1997). Psychophysiological stress in elite golfers during practice and competition. Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 29, 55-61.

Miller, G.E., Chen, E., & Cole, S.W. (2009). Health psychology: Developing biologically plausible models linking the social world and physical health. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 501–524.

Monasterio, E., Mei-Dan, O., Hackney, A.C., Lane, A.R., Zwir, I., Rozsa, S., & Cloninger, C.R. (2016). Stress reactivity and personality in ex-treme sport athletes: The psychobiology of BASE jumpers. Physiology y Behavior, 167, 289-297.

Moreno, F., Ávila, F., & Damas, J. (2001). El papel de la motilidad ocular extrínseca en el deporte. Revista de Psicomotricidad, 7, 75-94.

Neil, R., Wilson, K., Mellalieu, S.D., Hanton, S., & Taylor, J. (2012). Competitive anxiety intensity and interpretation: A two-study investigation into their relationship with performance. International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 10, 96–111.

Nicholls, A.R., & Polman, R.C. (2007). Coping in sport: A systematic review. Journal of Sports Sciences, 25(1), 11–31.

Núñez, A., & García, A. (2017). Relación entre el rendimiento y la ansiedad en el deporte: una revisión sistemática [Relationship between performance and anxiety in sports: a systematic review]. Retos, 32, 172-177.

Passelergue, P., Robert, A., & Lac, G. (1995). Salivary cortisol and testosterone variations during an official and a simulated weight-lifting competition. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 16(05), 298-303.

Pineda Espejel, H.A., López Walle, J. & Tomás, I. (2014). Validación de la versión mexicana del CSAI-2R en sus escalas de intensidad y dirección [Validation of the mexican version of the CSAI-2R with both intensity and direction scales]. Revista Mexicana de Psicología, 31(2), 198-212.

Pineda-Espejel, H.A., Arrayales, E., Castro, S., Morquecho, A., Trejo, M., & Fernández, R. (2018). Versión en español de la subescala presión del entrenador del MIPS: Propiedades psicométricas. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education, 8(2), 119-127.

Pineda-Espejel, H.A., Morquecho-Sánchez, R., & Gadea-Cavazos, E. (2018). Evidencias de validez test-criterio en el uso de la Escala Multidimensional de Perfeccionismo en el Deporte-2 [Evidence of test-criterion validity in the use of the Sport-Multidimensional

Perfectionism Scale-2]. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte,18(3),129-140.

Robazza C, Izzicupo P, D’Amico MA, Ghinassi B, Crippa MC, et al. (2018) Psychophysiological responses of junior orienteers under competitive pressure. PLOS ONE 13(4): e0196273.

Rodríguez, J., & San Juan, G. (2005). Intervención psicológica mediante rutinas de atención y concentración en un equipo de voleibol para mejorar la efectividad colectiva del saque. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 5, 219-230.

Rodríguez, M.C., & Galán, S.T. (2007). Programa de entrenamiento en imaginería como función cognitiva y motivadora para mejorar el rendimiento deportivo en jóvenes patinadores de carreras. Cuadernos de Psicología del Deporte, 7, 5-24.

Ruiz-Juan, F., Zarauz, A., & Flores-Allende, G. (2016). Ansiedad precompetitiva en corredores de fondo en ruta en función de sus variables de entrenamiento [Precompetitive anxiety in long-distance runners depending on their training variables]. Retos, 30, 110-113.

Salvador, A. (2005). Coping with competitive situations in humans. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 29, 195–205.

Salvador, A., & Costa, R. (2009). Coping with competition: Neuroendocrine responses and cognitive variables. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 33, 160-170.

Salimetrics, LLC. (2015). Saliva collection handbook. Recuperado de

Saz, A.I. (2000). Diccionario de Psicología. Madrid: Libro Hobby-Club.

Seery, M. D. (2011). Challenge or threat? Cardiovascular indexes of resilience and vulnerability to potential stress in humans. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(7), 1603-1610.

Stoeber, J., & Childs, J. H. (2010). The assessment of self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism: Subscales make a difference. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92(6), 577–585.

Stoeber, J., Otto, K., & Stoll, O. (2006). Multidimensional Inventory of Perfectionism in Sport (MIPS): English Version. University of Kent, UK.

Stornelli, D., Flett, G.L., & Hewitt, P.L. (2009). Perfectionism, achievement, and affect in children: A comparison of students from gifted, arts, and regular programs. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 24(4), 267–283.

Stumpf, H., & Parker, W.D. (2000). A hierarchical structural analysis of perfectionism and its relation to other personality characteristics. Personality and Individual Differences, 28(5), 837-852.

Taylor, J., Papay, K., Webb, J., & Reeve, C. (2016). The good, the bad, and the interactive: evaluative concerns perfectionism moderates the effect of personal strivings perfectionism on self-esteem. Personality and Individual Differences, 95, 1-5.

Tsopani, D., Dallas, G. & Skordilis, E.K. (2011). Competitive state anxiety and performance in young female rhythmic gymnasts. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 112(2), 549-560.

Vast, R.L., Young, R.L., & Thomas, P.R. (2010). Emotions in sport: Perceived effects on attention, concentration, and performance. Australian Psychologist, 45(2), 132–140.

Wolf, S.A., Eys, M.A., & Kleinert, J. (2014). Predictors of the precompetitive anxiety response: Relative impact and prospects for anxiety regulation. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4, 344-358.







How to Cite

Pineda-Espejel, A., Trejo, M., Terán, L., Cutti, L., & Galarraga, E. (2020). PHYSIOLOGICAL AND ANXIETY RESPONSES TO SOCIALLY PRESCRIBED PERFECTIONISM FOR GYMNASTIC COMPETITION: CASE STUDY. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 12(2), 147-161.

Similar Articles

11-20 of 21

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.