Relationship between Perfectionism and Emotional Symptoms in an Adolescent Sample

Relationship between Perfectionism and Emotional Symptoms in an Adolescent Sample Final‐year high school students completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism scale and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) 10 weeks (n = 673) and again 10 days (n = 505) before a major set of examinations. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were elevated on both test occasions, with more than 20% of the sample falling into the severe range. Self‐oriented perfectionism was not strongly related to emotional symptoms. In contrast, socially prescribed perfectionism was positively related to depression and anxiety. Students whose parents were bom overseas reported higher levels of socially prescribed perfectionism, and higher levels of depression and anxiety. These findings were interpreted within Higgins' (1987) self‐discrepancy theory, which links high externally imposed standards to emotional distress. The results suggest that adolescents who perceive strong external pressure to excel academically are at risk of severe emotional symptoms under examination stress. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian Journal of Psychology Wiley

Relationship between Perfectionism and Emotional Symptoms in an Adolescent Sample

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
2000 Australian Psychological Society
ISSN
0004-9530
eISSN
1742-9536
DOI
10.1080/00049530008255373
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Final‐year high school students completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism scale and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS) 10 weeks (n = 673) and again 10 days (n = 505) before a major set of examinations. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were elevated on both test occasions, with more than 20% of the sample falling into the severe range. Self‐oriented perfectionism was not strongly related to emotional symptoms. In contrast, socially prescribed perfectionism was positively related to depression and anxiety. Students whose parents were bom overseas reported higher levels of socially prescribed perfectionism, and higher levels of depression and anxiety. These findings were interpreted within Higgins' (1987) self‐discrepancy theory, which links high externally imposed standards to emotional distress. The results suggest that adolescents who perceive strong external pressure to excel academically are at risk of severe emotional symptoms under examination stress.

Journal

Australian Journal of PsychologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2000

References

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