Perfectionism as a predictor of subsequent adjustment: Evidence for a specific diathesis-stress mechanism among college students

  • Chang E
  • Rand K
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Abstract

The relations among perfectionism, stress, subsequent psychological symptoms, and hopelessness were examined among 215 college students. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to determine whether dimensions of perfectionism (P. Hewitt & G. Flett, 1991) predicted psychological symptoms and hopelessness (1 month later), and the extent to which stress scores added incremental validity to these predictions. Results indicated that socially prescribed perfectionism was a significant predictor of both adjustment measures. In addition, stress accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in predicting adjustment beyond perfectionism. Consistent with a diathesis-stress model, a significant Perfectionism × Stress interaction was found in predicting scores on adjustment measures beyond perfectionism and stress. However, this interaction was only found for socially prescribed perfectionism. Results provide support for a specific diathesis-stress mechanism and important implications for developing specific interventions in working with perfectionistic college students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved). (from the journal abstract)

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