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The purpose of the current study was to examine the extent to which self-oriented versus socially prescribed perfectionism can be differentiated by their correlations with adaptive versus maladaptive constructs (i.e., self-esteem, perceived self-control, achievement motivation, depression, anxiety, suicidal proneness, shame, guilt, and procrastination). Theoretically, socially prescribed perfectionism was expected to be exclusively maladaptive whereas self-oriented perfectionism was expected to have both maladaptive and adaptive characteristics. Participants (n = 475) came from a southeastern university (mean age of 20.9 years, 68% Caucasians). Results indicated that the two types of perfectionism had significantly different correlations with self-esteem, perceived self-control, achievement motivation, depression, anxiety, suicidal proneness, shame, guilt, and procrastination. Generally, socially prescribed perfectionism had stronger associations with maladaptive constructs than did self-oriented perfectionism. In contrast to the assertion that self-oriented perfectionism is exclusively a vulnerability factor (Benson, 2003), and as hypothesized, results indicated that high self-oriented perfectionism in the absence of socially prescribed perfectionism is adaptive. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
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Adaptive and Maladaptive Aspects of Self-Oriented versus Socially
Prescribed Perfectionism
Klibert, Jeffrey J.
Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Jennifer.
Saito, Motoko.
Journal of College Student Development, Volume 46, Number 2, March/April
2005, pp. 141-156 (Article)
Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press
DOI: 10.1353/csd.2005.0017
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MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 141
Adaptive and Maladaptive Aspects of
Self-Oriented versus Socially Prescribed
Perfectionism
Jeffrey J. Klibert Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling Motoko Saito
The purpose of the current study was to examine
the extent to which self-oriented versus socially
prescribed perfectionism can be differentiated by
their correlations with adaptive versus mal-
adaptive constructs (i.e., self-esteem, perceived
self-control, achievement motivation, depression,
anxiety, suicidal proneness, shame, guilt, and
procrastination). Theoretically, socially prescribed
perfectionism was expected to be exclusively
maladaptive whereas self-oriented perfectionism
was expected to have both maladaptive and
adaptive characteristics. Participants (n = 475)
came from a southeastern university (mean age
of 20.9 years, 68% Caucasians). Results
indicated that the two types of perfectionism had
significantly different correlations with self-
esteem, perceived self-control, achievement
motivation, depression, anxiety, suicidal prone-
ness, shame, guilt, and procrastination. Generally,
socially prescribed perfectionism had stronger
associations with maladaptive constructs than did
self-oriented perfectionism. In contrast to the
assertion that self-oriented perfectionism is
exclusively a vulnerability factor (Benson, 2003),
and as hypothesized, results indicated that high
self-oriented perfectionism in the absence of
socially prescribed perfectionism is adaptive. The
clinical implications of these findings are
discussed.
Recently in the APA Monitor, Benson (2003)
reviewed the debate on whether perfectionism
has adaptive as well as maladaptive features.
Jeffrey J. Klibert is a doctoral Student in Counseling Psychology at Oklahoma State University. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-
Rohling is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of South Alabama. Motoko Saito is a graduate of the
University of South Alabama Clinical Psychology Masters Program.
On one side of the debate is Hewitt, who is
an author of one of the most widely used
perfectionism measures, the Multidimensional
Perfectionism Scale (MPS; Hewitt & Flett,
1991a). Despite the fact that Hewitt has
delineated three distinct dimensions of
perfectionism (i.e., self-oriented, other-
oriented, and socially prescribed perfec-
tionism), he considers all three dimensions of
perfectionism to be maladaptive.
Contrary to Hewitt’s theory, however,
other researchers have recently published
evidence that Hewitt and Flett’s self-oriented
perfectionism may contain some adaptive
aspects. Specifically, self-oriented perfection-
ism has been positively associated with
resourcefulness (Flett, Hewitt, Blankstein,
& O’Brien, 1991), positive affect (Frost,
Heimberg, Holt, Mattia, & Neubauer, 1993),
assertiveness and conscientiousness (Hill,
McIntire, Bacharach, 1997), and intrinsic
motivation (Mills & Blankstein, 2000). Thus,
there is empirical evidence that at least one of
Hewitt’s three dimensions of perfectionism
may be associated with greater adaptive
functioning.
Based on these empirical findings, Bieling,
Israeli, and Antony (2004) assert that con-
tinued research on both the adaptive and
maladaptive correlates of the various dimen-
sions of perfectionism is warranted for clinical,
conceptual, and pragmatic reasons. Clinically,
some aspects of perfectionism may be more
142 Journal of College Student Development
Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito
detrimental to the individual’s mental health
than others (i.e., socially prescribed perfec-
tionism may be more detrimental than self-
oriented). The most detrimental aspects of
perfectionism may constitute the most pro-
ductive foci for clinical intervention. Further-
more, fostering other, more adaptive aspects
of perfectionism might improve psychological
health; if so, clinical attention and parenting
practices should be designed to enhance these
dimensions of perfectionism within the
developing individual. Conceptually, perfec-
tionism has been historically considered a
maladaptive trait. Conceptual clarity of
perfectionism was enhanced when it was
redefined as a multi-dimensional construct.
Delineating the maladaptive and adaptive
associations of each dimension of perfec-
tionism might facilitate an even greater
understanding of the mechanisms, whereby
various components of perfectionism are
associated with psychological distress and/or
psychological health. Finally, at the pragmatic
level, revised measures of perfectionism may
need to be developed, seeing as the two most
widely used current measures of perfectionism
(Hewitt & Flett’s MPS; Frost, Marten, Lahart,
& Rosenblate, 1990) were derived from the
perspective that perfectionism is a debilitative
trait (Bieling et al., 2004).
For many years, some researchers have
theorized that perfectionism has not always
been associated with negative mental health
outcomes. For example, Hamachek (1978)
described two different kinds of people who
could be classified as perfectionists:
On one hand there are people who are
able to take on a task and set out to do
their best without worrying unduly about
whether they’re absolutely perfect, but on
the other hand, there are others who
assume a task of equal proportions but
who stew endlessly in emotional juices of
their own brewing about whether they are
doing it just right. (p. 27)
According to Hamachek, the main difference
between what he called “normal” and “neu-
rotic” perfectionists is that the striving of
“normal” perfectionists theoretically brings
them a deep sense of satisfaction, which in
turn serves to enhance their self-esteem and
sense of self-worth. They feel a sense of
accomplishment and satisfaction at the
conclusion of a task. In contrast, “neurotic”
perfectionists do not experience this satis-
faction because of their sense that they are
never able to do things well enough. Instead,
neurotic perfectionists are more likely to
experience anxiety, depression, and low-self
esteem in conjunction with task completion.
Consistent with Hamachek’s observations
about the different types of perfectionism and
the continued supposition that perfectionism
is not a unitary construct, a number of
researchers have sought to delineate the
relevant components of perfectionism. For
example, Frost et al. (1993) used 553 under-
graduates to factor analyze responses to the
items from two different measures of perfec-
tionism. The first measure was Hewitt and
Flett’s Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale,
which consists of the three subscales of
perfectionism referred to previously: self-
oriented, socially-oriented, and other-oriented.
According to this measure, self-oriented
perfectionism was defined as adhering to strict
standards, while maintaining strong moti-
vation to attain perfection and to avoid failure.
Self-oriented perfectionists were expected to
engage in stringent self-evaluation. Other-
oriented perfectionism was defined as setting
unrealistic standards for significant others
coupled with conducting a stringent evalu-
ation of others’ performances. Lastly, socially
prescribed perfectionism was defined by the
MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 143
Correlates of Perfectionism
belief that others hold unrealistic expectations
for your behavior. The person with socially
prescribed perfectionism was expected to
endorse items indicating that they have
experienced external pressure to be perfect,
while believing others were evaluating them
critically (Hewitt & Flett, 1993).
The second measure used in the factor
analysis was Frost et al.’s (1990) measure,
which is also named the Multidimensional
Perfectionism Scale. This scale contains six
subscales of perfectionism. They are: concern
over mistakes, personal standards, parental
expectations, parental criticism, doubting of
actions, and organization. These two multidi-
mensional perfectionism scales were published
simultaneously in 1991, and as previously
noted, they both are predicated on the belief
that perfectionism is a debilitative factor that
warrants modification. Contrary to expecta-
tion, factor analysis yielded two distinguishable
factors. Frost and colleagues labeled the first
factor “positive strivings” and labeled the second
factor “maladaptive evaluation concerns.”
Hewitt and Flett’s (1991b) self-oriented
perfectionism and their other-oriented perfec-
tionism and Frost et al.’s high standards and
organization scales loaded on the positive
striving factor. Frost asserted that the resulting
positive strivings factor would be associated
with greater adaptive functioning by the
individual. Consistent with this reasoning,
Frost et al.’s results demonstrated that the
positive strivings factor was positively cor-
related with increased positive affect and not
correlated with depression. The second factor,
maladaptive evaluation concerns, consisted of
the socially prescribed perfectionism subscale
as well as the concern over mistakes, parental
criticism, parental expectations, and doubts
over actions subscales. This factor correlated
with higher levels of negative affect and
depression and was considered to be generally
maladaptive. As a whole, these findings have
lent empirical support to the supposition that
some dimensions of perfectionism (i.e., self-
oriented perfectionism) might be considered
adaptive. Consequently, the main purpose of
this research is to further this argument by
considering the degree to which self-oriented
perfectionism is related to other adaptive traits
including self-esteem, perceived self-control,
and achievement motivation.
In contrast, there has been little con-
troversy about the assertion that socially
prescribed perfectionism is maladaptive.
Specifically, a number of researchers have
associated socially prescribed perfectionism
with procrastination, depression, suicide
ideation, lower self-esteem, anxiety, loss of self-
control, and shame (Dean & Range, 1996; Fee
& Tangney, 2000; Flett et al., 1991; Flett,
Hewitt, Endler, & Tassone, 1995; Hewitt &
Flett, 1991a; Hewitt, Ediger, & Flett, 1996).
To date, no adaptive functions have been
associated with socially prescribed perfec-
tionism. Therefore, the second purpose of this
study is to replicate that socially prescribed
perfectionism is associated with maladaptive
rather than adaptive psychological symptoms.
In addition, previous research will be extended
by considering the associations between
socially prescribed perfectionism and suicide
proneness and guilt. These two variables have
been neglected in previous empirical studies
of perfectionism.
This study was conducted utilizing college
student participants. College is an important
place to study the correlates of perfectionism
because it presents an environment that
induces significant amounts of stress and has
implicit and explicit performance demands
(Stevens & Pfost, 1984). Increased college
stress is associated with higher rates of
depression (Furr, Westefeld, & McConnell,
2001) and suicidal thoughts and behaviors
144 Journal of College Student Development
Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito
(Westefeld & Furr, 1987). Researchers have
postulated that both the degree of stress experi-
enced and any resulting psychopathology, such
as depression and suicidal behavior, may be
associated with the extent to which the
individual holds perfectionistic beliefs (Hewitt
& Flett, 1993). As predicted, Hewitt, Flett,
and Weber (1994) empirically demonstrated
that self-oriented perfectionism was associated
with past and current suicide ideation as well
as with the perceived future likelihood of
attempting suicide among individuals seeking
clinical services. However, the degree to which
self-oriented perfectionism is associated with
increased depression and higher rates of
suicidal behavior has not been fully established
for college students. One study by Dean and
Range (1996) failed to find that self-oriented
perfectionism was significantly associated with
depression or suicidal ideation in a college
sample. However, Hewitt continues to assert
that these relationships should exist (Benson,
2003). Therefore, in the current study,
associations among both types of perfec-
tionism and depression and suicide proneness
will be determined in another sample of
college students.
It is also pertinent for researchers to
identify specific psychological variables that
can facilitate college students’ academic
performances. The current research extends
our knowledge base by considering the
associations between various types of perfec-
tionism and achievement motivation. Achieve-
ment motivation, as described by Mehrabian
(1994), reflects individual differences associ-
ated with achievement, such as persistence,
risk-taking, display of greater independence
and less conformity, greater delay of gratifi-
cation, and greater future perspectives.
Additionally, O’Keefe and Berger (1999) assert
that individuals with high motivation to
achieve are likely to possess other skills that
facilitate greater academic performance (i.e.,
effective time management skills).
Therefore, the following constructs will
be considered in relation to socially prescribed
versus self-oriented perfectionism in college
students: self-esteem, perceived self-control,
achievement motivation, depression, suicide
proneness, anxiety, shame, guilt, and procrasti-
nation. These particular variables were chosen
because they represent both maladaptive and
adaptive characteristics (maladaptive: depres-
sion, suicide proneness, anxiety, shame, guilt,
and procrastination; adaptive: self-esteem, self-
control, and achievement motivation). They
also represent characteristics that have fre-
quently been studied as correlates of per-
fectionism (i.e., self-esteem; self-control;
procrastination, anxiety, depression, guilt, and
shame) as well as characteristics that have
infrequently or never been studied (i.e.,
achievement motivation and suicide prone-
ness) or whose relationships with perfec-
tionism have not been fully determined with
college students (i.e., depression). A priori, no
differences in these relationships were expected
on the basis of gender on the basis of lack of
gender differences obtained in previous
research (Spangler & Burns, 1999).
Instead, based on a number of previous
research studies (e.g., Chang, 1998; Dean,
Range, & Goggin, 1996; Fee & Tangney,
2000; Flett, Blankstein, Hewitt, & Koledin,
1992; Flett et al. 1991, 1995; Flett, Madorsky,
Hewitt, & Heisel, 1998; Hewitt et al., 1996;
Hewitt & Flett, 1991a, 1993; Mills &
Blankstein, 2000), the following specific
hypotheses were generated:
1. Self-oriented perfectionism will be posi-
tively correlated with self-esteem, self-
control, and achievement motivation,
whereas socially prescribed perfectionism
will be negatively correlated with these
variables.
MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 145
Correlates of Perfectionism
2. Socially prescribed perfectionism will have
stronger negative correlations with the
maladaptive psychological symptoms (e.g.,
depression, anxiety, suicide proneness,
procrastination, shame and guilt) than will
self-oriented perfectionism.
3. Four groups of students can be formed
based on their responses to the two
perfectionism subscales (i.e., high self-
oriented and high socially prescribed
perfectionism (Generally Perfectionistic);
high self-oriented and low socially pre-
scribed perfectionism (SELF Oriented
ONLY); high socially prescribed and low
self-oriented perfectionism (SOCIALLY
Prescribed ONLY) and low self-oriented
and low socially-prescribed perfectionism
(Non-Perfectionistic). A priori, we ex-
pected the SELF-Oriented ONLY group
to report the highest mean scores on the
adaptive variables (i.e., self-esteem, self-
control, and achievement motivation)
followed by the Non-Perfectionistic group
and then the Generally Perfectionistic
group. The lowest scores on the adaptive
variables were expected to be obtained by
the SOCIALLY Prescribed ONLY group.
4. A priori, we also expected that the
SOCIALLY Prescribed ONLY group
would have the highest scores on the
maladaptive variables followed by scores
from the Generally Perfectionistic group.
The lowest scores were expected for the
SELF-Oriented ONLY and the Non-
Perfectionist groups.
METHOD
Participants
The sample consisted of 475 (139 men and
336 women) college student participants from
a large regional southeastern university. All
participants were currently enrolled in a
Psychology course and participated voluntarily
as part of a research subject pool. Students
received research course credit for their
participation. The average age of the parti-
cipants was 20.9 years old, as most participants
were first year students (70%). The majority
of the sample was Caucasian (68%) and
African American (18%); the remainder of the
sample consisted of Asian Americans (4%),
Hispanic Americans (2%), and Native Ameri-
cans (1%). These demographics, including the
preponderance of women, are similar to
demographics from this university’s Participant
Pool population.
Measures
Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS).
The MPS-H (Hewitt & Flett, 1991b) is a 45-
item instrument designed to measure perfec-
tionism using three subscales with 15 items
each. Scoring is based on a 7-point Likert-type
scale from 1 (strongly agree) to 7 (strongly
disagree). The three subscales are Self-Oriented
(“One of my goals is to be perfect in every-
thing I do”), Other-Oriented (“If I ask
someone to do something, I expect it to be
done flawlessly”), and Socially-Prescribed
perfectionism (“Anything I do that is less than
excellent will be seen as poor work by those
around me,” Frost et al., 1993). Only the self-
oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism
subscales were administered. The MPS-H has
been shown to be internally consistent
(Cronbach alphas = .86 to .89; item-total
correlations for each item = .43 to .73) and
reliable over three months (r = .75 to .88) with
a college student population (Hewitt & Flett,
1991a). The coefficient alphas for the subscales
in the current sample were .84 (self-oriented
perfectionism) and .81 (socially prescribed
perfectionism). Additionally, mean scores were
determined for both the self-oriented scale and
the socially prescribed scale. After mean scores
146 Journal of College Student Development
Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito
were tabulated, four groups were established.
The first group (Non-perfectionists, n = 30)
consisted of college students who had scores
that were one standard deviation below the
mean or more for both self-oriented and
socially prescribed perfectionism. The second
group (SELF Oriented ONLY, n = 49) con-
sisted of college students with scores that were
one standard deviation or more above the
mean for self-oriented perfectionism and one
standard deviation or more below the mean
for socially prescribed perfectionism. The third
group (SOCIAL Prescribed ONLY, n = 42)
consisted of college students with scores that
were one standard deviation or more above the
socially prescribed mean and one standard
deviation or more below the self-oriented
mean. The fourth group (Generally Per-
fectionistic, n = 31) consisted of college
students with scores that were one standard
deviation or more above the sample mean for
both self-oriented and socially prescribed
perfectionism.
Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (SE). The
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg,
1965) is a 10-item time-efficient measure of
self-esteem. Each item has four possible
responses that range from “strongly agree” to
“strongly disagree.” Half of the items are to
be reversed scored. Higher scores indicate
higher self-esteem. Using a college student
sample, the reliability coefficient alpha has
previously been shown to be high at. 92
(Rosenberg). In the current sample the
coefficient alpha for this measure was .89.
Hardiness Scale (HS): Self Control. The
Hardiness Scale (Bartone, Ursano, Wright &
Ingraham, 1989) is a 45-item measure that
assesses resiliency to stress via commitment,
control, and challenge. Control was the only
construct measured in this study. The self-
control sub-scale has 15 items that are summed
to get a score that describes one’s sense of
autonomy and influence on one’s future. The
original study involving the HS was conducted
with military officers. The control sub-scale
was reported to have an internal consistency
alpha of .66, and the combination of the three
scales has an alpha of .85 in that sample. In
the current sample, the self-control subscale
also had a coefficient alpha of .66.
Mehrabian Achieving Tendency Scale
(MATS). The MATS (Mehrabian, 1994) is a
36-item instrument that assesses a broad-scope
of individual characteristics associated with
achievement. Participants report their agree-
ment or disagreement with each item using a
nine point Likert scale. Half of the items are
worded so that the higher responses represent
higher achievement, while the other half of the
items are worded so that lower scores represent
higher achievement in order to prevent
response bias. The MATS has been shown to
have high internal reliability within a college
student sample with a coefficient alpha of .90
(Mehrabian). In the current study, the
coefficient alpha was also .90.
Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). The
BDI-II (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) is the
most widely used measure of depression. It
consists of 21 items with each item scored
between 0 and 3. The composite score is equal
to the sum of the responses. The BDI-II was
originally normed with a college student
sample (Beck et al.). The BDI-II has been
reported to have a high internal consistency
of.93 (Beck et al.) with the original college
sample. Validity coefficients have been
reported to be excellent (Beck et al.). In the
current study, the BDI-II had a coefficient
alpha of .91.
Life Attitude Schedule Short Form (LAS-SF).
The LAS-SF (Rohde, Lewinsohn, Seeley, &
Langhinrichsen-Rohling, 1996) is a 24-item
measure that assesses the broad construct of
suicide-prone behavior. The short form is
MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 147
Correlates of Perfectionism
similar to the original instrument, the Life
Attitudes Schedule, in that it also consists of
the same four content areas: Death Related,
Self Related, Health Related, and Injury
Related. The Death Related subscale measures
suicide and death related themes as well as
themes regarding reasons to live. The Health
Related domain consists of items that measure
illness, lack of self-care, and wellness. The Self
Related subscale measures self-worth, self-
image, self-enhancement, and self-promotion.
Lastly, the Injury Related sub-scale measures
injury-enhancing, risk-taking, and safety
related thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The
short form has been shown to be highly
correlated (r = .93) with the original version
of the LAS. Like the original form of the LAS,
the short form also uses a 4 (content areas) ×
3 (behavior types) × 2 (valence) matrix. The
highest score one can receive on the short form
is 24 if the participant answers all of the
negative items negatively and fails to endorse
any of the positive items. Internal consistency
of the short form ranged from .58 to .67 for
the content areas and was .84 for the total
score in a sample of college students (Rohde
et al.). Test-retest reliability ranged from .67
to .80 for the content areas and .84 for the
total LAS score in college samples (Rohde et
al.). In the current sample, the LAS-SF had a
coefficient alpha of .80.
Costello-Comrey Anxiety Scales (CCAS).
The CCAS (Costello & Comrey, 1967) is a
9-item instrument that assesses the individual’s
predisposition to feel anxious. Items are
answered along a 9-point Likert-type scale,
where 1 represents a response of Absolutely and
9 represents a response of Absolutely Not, with
one item reversed scored. The CCAS was
normed with non-clinical and clinical samples.
Excellent psychometric properties for the
CCAS have been reported (e.g., split half
reliability for the anxiety scale is equal to .90,
Costello & Comrey). In the current sample,
the CCAS had a coefficient alpha of .83.
Procrastination Scale (Short Form) (PS-SF).
The PS (Tuckman, 1991) is a 35-item
instrument designed to measure tendencies of
procrastination. The short form consists of 16
of the original 35 items. Procrastination is
viewed as the lack of self-regulated per-
formance and/or the tendency to put off or
completely avoid activity under one’s control.
The PS is scored by summing the responses,
which range from 1 to 4 (1 = that is never me;
4 = that’s me for sure) with higher scores
indicating higher levels of procrastination. The
PS was normed with a college-student sample,
and the measure was found to have excellent
internal consistency, with a coefficient alpha
of .86, and good concurrent validity (Tuck-
man). In the current sample, the PS had a
coefficient alpha of .89.
Harder Personal Feelings Questionnaire
(PFQ2): Shame & Guilt. The PFQ2 (Harder
& Zalma, 1990) is a scale that was designed
to measure shame and guilt. The shame
subscale consists of 10 items; there are 6 items
on the guilt subscale. Scores on the shame
subscale range from 0 to 40; scores on the guilt
scale range from 0 to 24. On both scales,
higher scores indicate higher levels of shame
or guilt. The PFQ2 has been found to have
good internal consistencies. Norms for the
PFQ2 were collected from a variety of samples
including college students (Harder & Zalma).
The PFQ2 has also been empirically proven
to have adequate reliability, with a coefficient
alpha of .78 for the shame scale and .72 for
the guilt scale and good construct validity
(Harder & Zalma). In the current sample, the
coefficient alpha for the shame subscale was
.75 and the coefficient alpha for the guilt sub-
scale was .67.
148 Journal of College Student Development
Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito
Procedure
Data were collected in groups of participants.
Informed consent was obtained from all
participants. In addition, parental consent was
obtained for all students under the age of 19,
as this is the age of consent in the state where
these data were collected. All data were
collected anonymously. Participants completed
the survey in approximately 30 minutes. Once
finished, all participants were thoroughly
debriefed. They were also given information
about mental health services if they should so
desire it.
RESULTS
Pearson’s correlations were conducted to
determine the relationships among the two
types of perfectionism and the adaptive and
maladaptive psychological variables. Addi-
tionally, Fisher’s r to z analyses were conducted
to determine significant differences in the
strength of the obtained correlations for self-
oriented versus socially prescribed per-
fectionism. These results are presented in Table
1. Preliminary analyses indicated that self-
oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism
were significantly and moderately correlated
with one another (r = .44, p .01).
TABLE 1.
Correlations between Self-Oriented and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism and
Adaptive and Maladaptive Characteristics
Types of Perfectionism
Self-Oriented Socially Prescribed r to Z Value
Correlational Variables rrp
Adaptive Characteristic
Self-Esteem .05 –.27** 5.05***
Perceived Self-Control .12*–.28** 6.23***
Achievement Motivation .31** –.15** 7.13***
Maladaptive Characteristic
Depression .06 .36** 4.84***
Suicide Proneness –.05 .26** 4.96***
Anxiety .10*.31** 3.44***
Procrastination –.28** .05 5.13***
Shame .07 .26** 2.95***
Guilt .07 .25** 2.86**
Note. Self-Esteem (RSE), Perceived Self-Control (HS), Achievement Motivation (MATS), Depression (BDI-II),
Suicide Proneness (LAS-SF), Anxiety (CCAS), Procrastination (PS), Shame (PFQ-2S), and Guilt
(PFQ-2G).
*p < .05 level. **p < .01 level. ***p < .001 level.
MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 149
Correlates of Perfectionism
With regard to the adaptive variables,
socially prescribed perfectionism did have a
negative association with self-esteem (r = –.27,
p < .01); however, the association between self-
oriented perfectionism and self-esteem was
nonsignificant. These two correlations were
significantly different from one another
(z = 5.05, p < .001). However, as expected,
self-oriented perfectionism did have a signi-
ficant positive association with perceived self-
control (r = .12, p < .05), whereas socially
prescribed perfectionism was negatively
associated with perceived self-control (r =
–.28, p < .001). These correlations were also
significantly different from one another
(z = 6.23, p < .001). Furthermore, self-
oriented perfectionism was positively cor-
related with achievement motivation (r = .31,
p < .01), while socially prescribed perfec-
tionism was negatively correlated with achieve-
ment motivation (r = –.15, p < .01). These two
relationships were significantly different from
one another as well (z = 7.13, p < .001). These
reported relationship held for both male and
female college students with one exception, the
positive correlation obtained between per-
ceived self-control and self-oriented perfec-
tionism failed to reach significance for college
women(r = .08, ns).
With regard to the maladaptive variables,
consistent with expectation, socially prescribed
perfectionism was significantly correlated with
depression (r = .36, p < .01), suicide proneness
(r = .26, p < .01), anxiety (r = .31, p < .01),
shame (r = .26, p < .01), and guilt (r = .25,
p < .01). Contrary to hypothesis, the cor-
relation between socially prescribed perfec-
tionism and procrastination was nonsig-
nificant. Consistent with theory that suggests
that self-oriented perfectionism is less mal-
adaptive, nonsignificant correlations were
obtained between self-oriented perfectionism
and depression, suicide proneness, shame, and
guilt. However, a weak association was
obtained between self-oriented perfectionism
and anxiety (r = .10, p < .05) and a stronger
negative relationship was obtained between
self-oriented perfectionism and procrastination
(r = –.28, p < .01). Consistent with a priori
expectation, socially prescribed perfectionism
had different associations than did self-
oriented perfectionism with all the mal-
adaptive variables assessed in the current study.
Contrary to expectations, some gender
differences were obtained in these relation-
ships. Specifically, the strong negative relation-
ship between self-oriented perfectionism and
procrastination was obtained for women (r =
–.34, p < .01), but not for men (r = .06, ns).
Conversely, there was a positive relationship
between socially prescribed perfectionism and
procrastination for men (r = .26, p < .01),
which was not obtained for women (r = –.02,
ns). Likewise, some gender-specific associations
were found between perfectionism and guilt.
For women only, there was a significant
relationship between self-oriented perfec-
tionism and guilt (r = 14, p < .05). For men,
this relationship was in the opposite direction
and nonsignificant (r = –.09, ns).
In the last set of analyses, two multivariate
analyses of variance (MANOVAs) were
conducted using first the adaptive and then
the maladaptive variables as the dependent
measures. In both MANOVAs, the inde-
pendent variable consisted of membership to
one of the four derived groups (Generally
Perfectionistic, SELF oriented ONLY,
SOCIALLY Prescribed ONLY, Non-Per-
fectionistic). The first analysis was conducted
with the three adaptive variables as the
dependent variables (self-esteem, perceived
self-control, and achievement motivation).
Overall, results indicated that, as expected,
there was a significant main effect such that
the four groups of participants differed in their
150 Journal of College Student Development
Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito
mean level of adaptiveness, Wilks’s Lambda
(3, 147) = .72, p = .001.
Follow-up univariate ANOVAs indicated
that the four groups significantly differed on
all three adaptive variables: self-esteem
F(3, 147) = 4.71, p = .001; self-control
F(3, 147) = 9.78, p = .001; achievement
motivation F(3, 147) = 7.76, p = .001. As
shown in Table 2, follow-up post-hoc analysis
revealed that SELF Oriented ONLY parti-
cipants reported more self-esteem than
participants in the SOCIALLY Prescribed
ONLY or the Generally Perfectionistic groups.
The self-esteem scores of SELF Oriented
ONLY perfectionists did not differ from
college students in the Non-Perfectionistic
group. Likewise, post-hoc analysis indicated
that participants in the SELF Oriented ONLY
group also reported significantly higher levels
of perceived self-control than did participants
in the SOCIALLY Prescribed ONLY and the
Generally Perfectionistic groups. Again, the
self-control levels of participants in the SELF
Oriented ONLY group did not differ from
those of the Non-Perfectionistic group. A
different pattern was found for achievement
motivation, however, as post-hoc results
indicated that participants in the SELF
Oriented ONLY perfectionism group reported
significantly higher levels of achievement
motivation than did participants in all three
other groups. Table 2 reports the means and
TABLE 2.
Means and Standard Deviations by Type of Perfectionism Reported
and Adaptive Variable Reported.
Perfectionism Type
LOW-LOW SELF-ONLY SOCIAL-ONLY HIGH-HIGH
Adaptive Variable A (n = 30) B (n = 49) C (n = 42) D (n = 31)
Self-Esteem
Mean 33.47ABC 34.79AB 31.15ACD 29.82CD
SD (7.76) (5.15) (5.94) (7.35)
Self-Control
Mean 33.21AB 34.79AB 28.96CD 29.93CD
SD (3.65) (3.63) (6.06) (4.44)
Achievement Motivation
Mean 33.51ACD 65.96B32.27AC D 38.91ACD
SD (37.44) (35.94) (36.78) (42.16)
Note. Group A = Both Low Self-Oriented and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism or Non-Perfectionists; B = High
Self-Oriented and Low Socially Prescribed Perfectionism; C = High Socially Prescribed and Low Self-
Oriented Perfectionism; D = High Self-Oriented and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism or Generally
Perfectionistic. A superscript A indicates that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the LOW-LOW Mean.
A superscript B indicates that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the SELF-ONLY Mean. A superscript
C indicates that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the SOCIAL-ONLY Mean. A superscript D indicates
that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the HIGH-HIGH Mean according to Tukey’s Least Significant
Difference.
MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 151
Correlates of Perfectionism
standard deviations by type of perfectionism
group and adaptive variable.
The second MANOVA was computed
with the six maladaptive variables as the
dependent variables. Perfectionism group
membership remained the independent
variable. As shown in Table 3, and consistent
with the first MANOVA, results indicated that
the second MANOVA produced a significant
overall effect for group membership, Wilks’
Lambda (3, 143) = .71, p = .001. Subsequent
ANOVAs on the means of the dependent vari-
ables indicated that the four groups signifi-
cantly differed on all six maladaptive variables:
depression F(3, 143) = 6.26, p = .001, suicide
proneness F(3, 143) = 5.85, p = .001, anxiety
TABLE 3.
Means and Standard Deviations by Type of Perfectionism Reported
and Maladaptive Variable Reported.
Perfectionism Group
LOW-LOW SELF-ONLY SOCIAL-ONLY HIGH-HIGH
Maladaptive Variable A (n = 30) B (n = 49) C (n = 42) D (n = 31)
Depression
Mean 7.67AB 9.24AB 14.03CD 17.18CD
SD (1.83) (1.45) (1.61) (1.83)
Suicide Proneness
Mean 3.95AB 4.13AB 6.45CD 7.28CD
SD (0.74) (0.59) (0.65) (0.74)
Anxiety
Mean 31.93AB 36.01ABC 40.07BCD 44.87 CD
SD (2.36) (1.87) (2.07) (2.36)
Procrastination
Mean 20.97 ACD 15.91 BD 22.38 AC 17.15 ABD
SD (1.51) (1.20) (1.33) (1.51)
Shame
Mean 13.03AB 14.73ABC 17.15BCD 17.91CD
SD (1.12) (0.88) (0.98) (1.12)
Guilt
Mean 7.53AB 7.50AB 9.65CD 10.60CD
SD (0.79) (0.62) (0.69) (0.79)
Note. Group A = Both Low Self-Oriented and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism or Non-Perfectionistic; B = High
Self-Oriented and Low Socially Prescribed Perfectionism; C = High Socially Prescribed and Low Self-
Oriented Perfectionism; D = High Self-Oriented and Socially Prescribed Perfectionism or Generally
Perfectionistic. A superscript A indicates that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the LOW-LOW Mean.
A superscript B indicates that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the SELF-ONLY Mean. A superscript
C indicates that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the SOCIAL-ONLY Mean. A superscript D indicates
that the mean doesn’t differ significantly from the HIGH-HIGH Mean according to Tukey’s Least Significant
Difference.
152 Journal of College Student Development
Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito
F(3, 143) = 5.74, p = .001, procrastination
F(3, 143) = 5.46, p = .001, shame F(3, 143)
= 4.34, p = .001, and guilt F(3, 143) = 4.51,
p = .001). Post-hoc group differences regarding
depression as the dependent variable revealed
that SELF Oriented ONLY and the Non-
Perfectionistic participants reported signi-
ficantly lower rates of depression as compared
to the participants in the SOCIALLY Pre-
scribed ONLY and Generally Perfectionistic
groups. This same pattern was found for
suicide proneness and guilt.
Slightly different patterns were found for
the other three maladaptive variables. For
anxiety, results indicated that the highest
anxiety was reported by the SOCIALLY
Prescribed ONLY and Generally Perfec-
tionistic groups; however, the SELF Oriented
ONLY group was moderately elevated on
anxiety also.
Regarding procrastination, results indi-
cated that SOCIALLY Prescribed ONLY
participants reported a tendency to procras-
tinate more than the SELF Oriented ONLY
and Generally Perfectionistic participants.
Additionally, Non-Perfectionistic students
procrastinated more than did the SELF
Oriented ONLY participants. In contrast,
SELF Oriented ONLY participants reported
significantly lower rates of shame as com-
pared to the SOCIALLY Prescribed ONLY
participants and Generally Perfectionistic
participants.
DISCUSSION
In Bensons (2003) article, Hewitt stated that
self-oriented perfectionism does not contain
adaptive functions. Instead, Hewitt contended
that self-oriented perfectionism is a vulner-
ability factor to psychopathology such as de-
pression, suicidal behavior, and anorexia
nervosa. This study was designed to test that
assertion by comparing and contrasting the
associations between self-oriented and socially
prescribed perfectionism on a variety of
maladaptive and adaptive characteristics.
Variables were chosen in order to both map
onto existing literature (Chang, 1998; Dean
et al., 1996; Fee & Tangney, 2000; Flett et al.,
1991, 1992, 1995, 1998; Hewitt et al., 1996;
Hewitt & Flett, 1991a, 1993; Mills &
Blankstein, 2000) and to extend what is
known about the two types of perfectionism
by their associations with achievement moti-
vation and suicide proneness which have been
neglected in previous research.
Contrary to Hewitt’s assertion in Benson’s
(2003) article, results indicated that self-
oriented perfectionism was positively associ-
ated with two (self-control and achievement
motivation) of the three adaptive variables
utilized in the current study. Therefore, these
results generally failed to support Hewitt and
Flett’s (1993) vulnerability hypothesis for self-
oriented perfectionism. Instead, we suggest
that time management skills are a significant
component of self-oriented perfectionism, and
time-management skills may be quite adaptive
for college students. Similarly, in O’Keefe and
Berger’s (1999) ABC approach to self-
management in college, time management
skills are highlighted because they decrease the
likelihood of school drop-out and course
failure.
These results also indicated that self-
oriented perfectionists are likely to have high
levels of achievement motivation. According
to O’Keefe and Berger (1999), having high
motivation to achieve is also a key component
to advancing oneself academically and inter-
personally while in college. Moreover, college
students with high personal standards and
motivation to succeed are less likely to report
feelings of depression (Accordino, Accordino,
& Slaney, 2000). Conversely, depressed
MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 153
Correlates of Perfectionism
students are at increased risk of skipping class,
which in turn, increases their potential to drop
out of college (McClain & Abramson, 1995).
Thus, college students who are self-oriented
perfectionists, yet are motivated to achieve and
have time management skills, may be well
positioned to adapt to stressful situations and
to display adaptive problem solving skills that
will facilitate their college success.
Findings obtained in the current study
also indicated that self-oriented perfectionism
had insignificant or negative relationships with
many of the maladaptive variables measured
(depression, suicide proneness, procras-
tination, shame, and guilt). Such correlations
also run contrary to predictions derived from
Hewitt and Flett’s (1993) vulnerability
hypothesis. Specifically, Hewitt and Flett
theorized that self-oriented perfectionists were
likely to be vulnerable to depression and
suicidal behavior. Instead, in this college
student sample, self-oriented perfectionism
was not related to depression or suicide
proneness. A negative relationship was found
between self-oriented perfectionism and
procrastination, providing additional support
for our contention that college students who
are higher on self-oriented perfectionism are
more likely to have developed effective time
management skills than do college students
who are lower on self-oriented perfectionism.
However, we did obtain one result that
supported Hewitt and Flett’s (1993) vulner-
ability hypothesis. Namely, there was a weak
positive relationship obtained between self-
oriented perfectionism and anxiety. This
finding replicates results obtained by Flett et
al. (1995). There are several possible inter-
pretations of this finding. First, trait anxiety
has been found to interfere with academic
performance (Edwards & Trimble, 1992), and
it is highly correlated with depression (Bieling,
Antony, & Swinson, 1998), suggesting some
support for Hewitt and Flett’s vulnerability
hypothesis. However, it is also possible these
results are best related to research showing that
anxiety has a curvilinear relationship with
performance. According to Yerkes and Dodson
(1908), moderate levels of anxiety can enhance
motivation for the task at hand and facilitate
performance. Further research needs to be
conducted with different dimensions of
anxiety (state vs. trait and facilitative vs.
debilitative) to understand the nature of this
obtained relationship more completely.
A second goal of this study was to replicate
previous research indicating that socially
prescribed perfectionism is maladaptive. As
hypothesized, all three adaptive variables (self-
esteem, self-control, and achievement moti-
vation) were negatively associated with socially
prescribed perfectionism (Hewitt & Flett,
1991a). The significant negative associations
between socially prescribed perfectionism and
self-esteem and self-control replicate Flett
et al.’s (1991) findings. Furthermore, socially
prescribed perfectionism was significantly
related to greater reports of depression, suicide
proneness, anxiety, shame, and guilt. The
current study’s obtained associations between
socially prescribed perfectionism and depres-
sion (Hewitt & Flett, 1991a), anxiety (Flett
et al., 1995), and shame (Fee & Tangney,
2000) were consistent with previous findings.
Shame, in particular, may be an important
correlate of socially prescribed perfectionism.
Socially prescribed perfectionism and guilt
were also related in these college students. This
finding was not obtained in previous research
(Fee & Tangney). However, consistent with
Fee and Tangney’s findings, in the current study,
procrastination was not significantly associated
with socially prescribed perfectionism.
Overall, these findings support the
contention that socially prescribed perfec-
tionism is generally maladaptive. Furthermore,
154 Journal of College Student Development
Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito
results indicating that socially prescribed
perfectionism is associated with reduced self-
control and increased guilt and shame, suggest
that being externally driven to excel may
diminish motivation for tasks as well as impair
academic performance and psychopathology.
To further delineate our findings, we
considered differences among four types of
college students: Generally Perfectionistic,
Socially Prescribed Only, Self-Oriented Only,
and Non-Perfectionistic. Results revealed a
general pattern that the participants reporting
only high levels of self-oriented perfectionism
reported the most adaptive symptoms and the
least maladaptive symptoms, whereas the
participants reporting high levels of both kinds
of perfectionism reported the least adaptive
symptoms and the most maladaptive symp-
toms. These results suggest that self-oriented
perfectionism without the presence of socially
prescribed perfectionism is adaptive in nature,
but the combination of high scores on both
self-oriented and socially prescribed per-
fectionism is likely to be associated with more
psychopathology.
One theory that might explain our results
is the normal vs. neurotic perfectionism of
Hamachek (1978). Our results suggest that
Hewitt and Flett’s (1991b) self-oriented
perfectionism may map onto Hamachek’s
normal perfectionism while Hewitt and Flett’s
socially prescribed perfectionism may be more
associated with Hamachek’s neurotic perfec-
tionism. Specifically, self-oriented perfection-
ists are those who derive a sense of pleasure
from their labors and efforts, which in turn
enhances their self-esteem and motivation to
succeed and eventually helps them develop a
sense of control over their environment. Self-
oriented perfectionists may then use their
pleasure in their accomplishments as en-
couragement to continue and even improve
their work. In contrast, socially prescribed
perfectionists may be compared to neurotic
perfectionists in that they do not derive
pleasure from their labors and efforts and tend
to view their work as inadequate or inferior.
Furthermore, they report experiencing external
pressure and or coercion to accomplish tasks.
Therefore, the maladaptive symptoms of the
socially prescribed perfectionist emerge not
from an internally felt desire to be their best,
but more from a fear of failure and/or a desire
to avoid embarrassment, shame, and guilt.
Clinically, the obtained results suggest that
imposing high standards upon oneself may be
less harmful than believing that others are
imposing unrealistically high standards on
one’s behavior. In fact, self-imposed high
standards, particularly in the absence of
perceived pressure from others, may motivate
an individual to achieve, may foster self-
control and enhance self-esteem, while
providing some protection against depression,
guilt, and suicidality. Alternatively, expending
cognitive and emotional resources in an effort
to satisfy externally imposed high standards,
regardless of one’s level of self-imposed perfec-
tionism, may be a risk factor for distress and
potential psychopathology (Bieling et al., 2004).
Some gender-specific associations were
obtained, however, which suggests that the
dimensions of perfectionism may not operate
in exactly the same way for college men and
women. Specifically, for college women higher
levels of guilt were experienced with greater
endorsement of self-oriented perfectionism;
for college men, the direction of this rela-
tionship was opposite. Furthermore, only
college women were less likely to report
procrastination with higher levels of self-
oriented perfectionism whereas only college
men reported greater procrastination in
conjunction with higher levels of socially
prescribed procrastination. These findings may
reflect different gender-specific responses to
MARCH/A PRIL 2005 VOL 46 NO 2 155
Correlates of Perfectionism
achievement roles and demands. Further
research is needed to replicate and explicate
these findings. The degree to which these
findings can be understood as a function of
both race and cultural identity also needs to
be explored.
The current research has some limitations
that must be recognized. First, the results were
based solely on self-report responses. Survey
based studies that rely on the self- insight of
the participants are subjective and can be
subject to social desirability demands and
response biases. To combat these concerns,
Cox and colleagues (2002) have been con-
structing a perfectionism interview. Second,
in general, perfectionism may be best under-
stood when it is evoked in the context of a
particular task or when failure occurs. Future
researchers may need to develop context-
specific measures of this construct. Third, this
study utilized a cross sectional research design.
Future work that considers how these variables
interact across time will be essential. Fourth,
a relatively small percentage of participants in
this study were men (29%). While this is in
keeping with research that shows that women
are more likely than men to participate in
college survey studies (Range, Turzo, & Ellis,
1992); further research is needed to determine
the extent to which these findings hold across
time for both genders and students of different
races, generalize to other age groups, and apply
to individuals who are not currently in
academic settings.
Nonetheless, these findings provide strong
support for the notion that self-oriented
perfectionism can be adaptive, thus, failing to
confirm Hewitt and Flett’s (1993) vulner-
ability hypothesis. Furthermore, the obtained
results provide evidence that socially prescribed
perfectionism is associated with maladaptive
symptoms, even when it co-occurs with self-
oriented perfectionism.
Correspondence concerning this article should be
addressed to Jeffrey Klibert, 1004 South Main St. #5,
Stillwater, OK 74074; DraZx191@aol.com
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... Additionally, self-oriented perfectionism shows significant positive correlations with academic engagement and proficiency, and negative correlations with procrastination, indicating high self-efficacy (Closson & Boutilier, 2017), which is positively correlated with high personal standards and conscientious behavioral traits (Saulsman, Page, 2004). Given that self-oriented perfectionists show a greater ability for introspective maintenance due to higher levels of self-efficacy, it is logical that self-oriented perfectionists show significantly lower rates of comorbid mental health issues as well as sustained feelings of accomplishment and contentment in comparison to socially-prescribed perfectionists (Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling & Saito, 2005). ...
... In perpetuating the themes of efficacy and resilience, self-oriented perfectionism has been found to be positively associated with willpower, motivation, perceived selfcontrol and self-esteem as well as with lower magnitudes of depression, anxiety, suicide proneness, shame, guilt and procrastination (Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling & Saito, 2005). However, excessively high self-oriented perfectionism can be comorbid with traits typically found in maladaptive perfectionism, such as having negative correlations with willpower, motivation, perceived self-control and self-esteem; these correlations were rarely as significant as those negative correlations found in high scoring sociallyprescribed perfectionism (Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito, 2005). ...
... In perpetuating the themes of efficacy and resilience, self-oriented perfectionism has been found to be positively associated with willpower, motivation, perceived selfcontrol and self-esteem as well as with lower magnitudes of depression, anxiety, suicide proneness, shame, guilt and procrastination (Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling & Saito, 2005). However, excessively high self-oriented perfectionism can be comorbid with traits typically found in maladaptive perfectionism, such as having negative correlations with willpower, motivation, perceived self-control and self-esteem; these correlations were rarely as significant as those negative correlations found in high scoring sociallyprescribed perfectionism (Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito, 2005). These findings suggest that excessively high self-oriented perfectionism is not always inherently good and highlights a potential necessity for evaluating how much is too much selforiented perfectionism. ...
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This thesis investigates the relationship between perfectionism and the perceived importance of, and satisfaction with, various components of both the Honors College experience and the experience within majors as rated by University of Maine Honors College students. UMaine Honors College students were recruited to take an online Qualtrics survey. Preliminary descriptive analysis has suggested that, while UMaine Honors College students show average levels of self-oriented perfectionism, they demonstrate exceptionally high levels of socially-prescribed perfectionism, as compared to normative samples. Additionally, UMaine Honors College students exhibit significantly higher ratings of personal importance and satisfaction assigned to components of their major in comparison with the same components of their Honors College experience. Furthermore, correlate analysis has indicated that male Honors College students show a negative correlation between personal importance assigned to major experience, personal satisfaction with major experience and self-oriented and socially-prescribed perfectionism. Further investigation is warranted to develop a better understanding of the extreme mean score of socially-prescribed perfectionism observed in UMaine Honors College students. Future studies might investigate the variables responsible for the lower ratings of importance and satisfaction assigned to the Honors College, relative to their majors. The Personal Importance & Satisfaction Inventory for the UMaine Honors College & Major Experience provides a novel framework to explore variables unseen in extant literature; this inventory, given further research to establish its reliability and validity, shows promise in evaluating weaknesses in Honors College experiences versus within-major experiences, which is a much-needed tool for baccalaureate colleges given Curran & Hill’s (2019) findings that SOP and SPP are currently increasing at dramatic rates among undergraduates.
... Moreover, future research focusing on clarifying the link between socially prescribed perfectionism and self-handicapping is recommended. For instance, shame and guilt as two essential social emotions are found to be correlated with socially prescribed perfectionism but not with self-oriented perfectionism (Klibert, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, & Saito, 2005). Therefore, these emotions can be examined as source as well as mediating factors for this mechanism. ...
Chapter
Perfectionism is a multidimensional concept whose role in psychological well-being has gained attention in recent literature. The aim of the current study was to examine the relationship of different dimensions of perfectionism with self-handicapping and self-compassion and to investigate their predictive roles on psychological well-being. For this purpose, 653 volunteered participants (360 females and 293 males) whose ages were between 18 and 50 (M = 24.90, SD = 7.57) were recruited from various cities in Turkey. For data collection, Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS), Self-Handicapping Scale (SHS), Self-Compassion Scale (SCS), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) were administered. The findings indicated that self-compassion was negatively correlated with all perfectionism domains and self-handicapping. Moreover, self-handicapping was positively correlated with socially prescribed perfectionism but negatively correlated with self-oriented perfectionism. The results of the hierarchical regression analyses revealed that psychological symptoms were positively associated with socially prescribed perfectionism and self-handicapping but negatively associated with self-compassion. Finally, satisfaction with life was positively associated with self-oriented perfectionism and self-compassion, while negatively associated with socially prescribed perfectionism. These findings highlighted the importance of different aspects of perfectionism regarding to psychological well-being and its related components.
... SOP-Critical was consistently related to maladaptive outcomes such as negative affect, worry, anxiety and depressive symptoms (e.g., Affrunti & Woodruff-Borden, 2016;McCreary et al., 2004;Soreni et al., 2014). A different pattern was observed for SOP-Striving, which has shown several adaptive consequences, including higher levels of self-esteem, achievement motivation and academic success (Accordino et al., 2000;Klibert et al., 2005;Vecchione & Vacca, 2021). Socially Prescribed Perfectionism (SPP) has been widely regarded as a vulnerability factor for adolescents' psychological distress (e.g., Affrunti & Woodruff-Borden, 2016;Flett et al., 2011). ...
Article
The current study investigates the longitudinal association between grandiose narcissism and multidimensional perfectionism over 2 years in adolescence. We adopted the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Concept, which differentiates between two aspects of grandiose narcissism. We also considered multiple dimensions of perfectionism, including Socially Prescribed Perfectionism (SPP) and two forms of Self-Oriented Perfectionism (SOP), namely the tendencies to set high standards of performance (SOP-Striving) and to engage in overly critical self-evaluations (SOP-Critical). The study was conducted in a sample of Italian high school students (n = 331). Concurrent correlations indicated that Admiration was positively related to SOP-Striving and, to a lesser extent, to SOP-Critical and SPP. Rivalry was also positively related to the three perfectionistic dimensions, although correlations were smaller in size than those found for Admiration. Prospective associations between narcissism and perfectionism were analysed using a Random-Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Model. Results showed that the predominant direction of effects was from narcissism to perfectionism, particularly from Admiration to SOP-Striving and SPP. Findings were discussed in terms of their implications for the understanding of the narcissism-perfectionism link.
... SPP is often deemed as the most maladaptive dimension of trait perfectionism. Indeed, countless studies have found that SPP is associated with negative psychological symptoms, such as suicide outcomes, procrastination, and guilt (Klibert et al., 2005;Roxborough et al., 2012). On the other hand, the maladaptive nature of SOP has been up for debate, with research reporting that it is both associated to self-criticism and psychopathology , and to adaptive features such as self-confidence, and intrinsic motivation (Stoeber et al., 2009). ...
Article
The present study examined the empirical and conceptual association between two definitions of trait mindfulness (socio-cognitive and mindfulness-meditation) and trait, cognitive, and self-presentational components of perfectionism. These associations were investigated in a student sample of emerging adults ( n = 390), who completed measures of trait perfectionism, perfectionistic self-presentation, perfectionistic cognitions, trait mindfulness-meditation, and trait socio-cognitive mindfulness. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that socially prescribed perfectionism was negatively related to the non-reactivity and acting with awareness facets of mindfulness-meditation, while self-oriented perfectionism had a positive relationship with the novelty seeking and novelty producing facets of socio-cognitive mindfulness. Perfectionistic cognitions were negatively associated with non-judging. Non-display and non-disclosure of imperfections were also negatively associated with facets of mindfulness-meditation and socio-cognitive mindfulness. Level of study (i.e., undergraduate or graduate) did not moderate the associations between perfectionism and mindfulness variables. Our study provides evidence for negative and positive associations between specific mindfulness facets and components of perfectionism. The results have implications for a theoretical and empirical understanding of the relationship between perfectionism and mindfulness and can inform the design of interventions to teach students how to cope with distressing forms of perfectionism during emerging adulthood.
... Nevertheless, it is unknown how these effects of selfesteem develop in the parenting context. Self-esteem has been found to be negatively associated with SPP Klibert et al., 2005), and it is possible that self-esteem and SPP has interactive effect on parental burnout. For example, it is possible that when facing high expectations from others (e.g., high expectations for one's parenting; Jordan et al., 2015), it is easier to ignore or diminish those expectations if one has high self-esteem. ...
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Socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP) has been shown to be a risk factor for parental burnout (Sorkkila & Aunola, 2020). In the present study, we investigated the moderating role of self-esteem in this association. A total of 479 Finnish mothers of infants filled in questionnaires measuring their self-esteem, SPP, and symptoms of parental burnout. The results of structural equation modelling (SEM) showed that mothers' self-esteem moderated the effect of SPP on parental burnout: Mothers with high self-esteem were at lower risk of showing burnout symptoms even when SPP co-occurred, whereas for mothers with low self-esteem, the effect of SPP on burnout symptoms was further strengthened. The results can be applied when aiming to improve maternal well-being by recognizing the risk factors of parental burnout and by offering counseling for parents at high risk.
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The misuse of pharmacological cognitive enhancers (PCEs) in an academic context is a growing area of concern, particularly as rates of PCE use among emerging adults have increased over time. The aim of this study was to identify potential targets for future preventive interventions by examining several social-cognitive variables as risk factors for PCE use. Using a sample of 335 undergraduate college students, attitudes toward cheating, academic locus of control, and perfectionism were measured as potential predictors of attitudes toward PCE use and beliefs about fairness. Results were that attitudes toward cheating and socially prescribed perfectionism predicted attitudes toward PCE use. Attitudes toward cheating and other-oriented perfectionism predicted beliefs about fairness. These results highlight perfectionism as a target for preventive interventions and underscore the need for colleges and universities to consider PCE use in their policies surrounding academic honesty.
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O suicídio é um problema de saúde pública mundial, sendo a quarta causa de morte em população de jovens-adultos (15-29 anos) no sexo masculino e a terceira no sexo feminino. Em Portugal, é também uma das principais causas de morte junto dos jovens-adultos. Os modelos teóricos explicativos integram diferentes fatores de risco, como o perfecionismo e a sintomatologia depressiva (e.g.). O perfecionismo é um traço de personalidade caracterizado pela procura de perfeição e pelo estabelecimento de padrões de desempenho extremamente elevados, acompanhados por avaliações excessivamente críticas. Caracterizado por dimensões interpessoais (Perfecionismo orientado para os outros, POO) e intrapessoais (Perfecionismo auto-orientado, PAO, e Perfecionismo Socialmente Prescrito, PSP). A sintomatologia depressiva, presente nas perturbações de humor, torna os indivíduos mais vulneráveis ao comportamento suicidário. O papel do perfecionismo e da sintomatologia depressiva no comportamento suicidário pode ser explicado através da tendência dos perfecionistas em vivenciarem emoções negativas como sentimentos de vergonha, culpa e fracasso *6 que conduzem à depressão. Introdução Objetivos Avaliar a relação entre PAO, o PSP e a ideação suicida, assim como o papel mediador da sintomatologia depressiva nessa relação. Método 258 jovens adultos, 79,8% sexo feminino, M idades = 21,57 anos; DP = 0,16 Questionário Sociodemográfico e Clínico Escala Multidimensional do Perfecionismo (subescalas PAO e PSP; Soares et al., 2003) Escala de Ansiedade, Depressão e Stress (subescala Depressão; Pais-Ribeiro et al., 2004) Questionário de Ideação Suicida (Ferreira & Castela, 1999) Resultados Análise da relação entre as variáveis em estudo (dimensões PAO e PSP do perfecionismo e a ideação suicida) Análise do papel mediador da sintomatologia depressiva na relação entre as dimensões do perfecionismo e a ideação suicida Conclusões Os indivíduos que já tentaram o suicídio demonstraram níveis significativamente maiores de perfecionismo desadaptativo, sintomatologia depressiva e ideação suicida. Foi possível observar, à semelhança do que é apontado na literatura *7 , uma associação entre os níveis de perfecionismo e da ideação suicida, especialmente no que diz respeito ao perfecionismo desadaptativo (PSP). Esta relação parece sugerir que elevados níveis de PSP se relacionam com o risco suicida. O traço de perfecionismo, sobretudo o socialmente prescrito, e a sintomatologia depressiva aumentam o risco de ideação suicida. Quanto à sintomatologia depressiva foi possível verificar que medeia a relação entre perfecionismo e ideação suicida. As intervenções clínicas devem considerar a perceção que o indivíduo considera que os outros têm de si (PSP), dado o seu papel proeminente no desenvolvimento de mal-estar psicológico. Existem, no entanto, limitações no estudo. A amostra predominantemente feminina, de corte transversal e a recolha de dados online requerem uma leitura cuidada na generalização. Sugere-se a replicação do estudo em amostras maiores.
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