University of Tasmania
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Perfectionism and interpersonal functioning

posted on 2023-05-26, 20:03 authored by CuevÉvÖllar, KN
The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between various dimensions of perfectionism and key aspects of interpersonal functioning. Participants in Study 1 were 371 adults. In studies 2 to 5 a more homogenous sub-sample of 165 adults 25 years and under was used. The measures of perfectionism were the Perfectionism Cognitions Inventory (PCI, Hewitt, Flett, Blankstein & Gray, 1998), two measures both named the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS-F and MPS-H; Frost, Marten, Lahart & Roseblate, 1990; Hewitt & Flett, 1991b), and the Positive and Negative Perfectionism Scale (PANPS, Terry-Short, Owens, Slade & Dewey, 1995). These measures yielded 12 different scales or dimensions that were classified into two domains, negative evaluation concerns (NEC) and standards and achievement (SA) according to whether the dimension was characterised as primarily negative or more positive in nature. Study 1 established that almost all dimensions of perfectionism were positively related to anxiety and depression. To establish relationships of perfectionism to social functioning independently of the influence of depression and anxiety, subsequent studies used high and low groups on each perfectionism dimension and analysis of covariance to adjust for any effects of anxiety and depression. The major finding of Study 2 was that most NEC but not SA dimensions were related to estimates of more frequent negative interpersonal interactions. NEC groups showed increased levels of interpersonal rejection sensitivity to a greater extent than SA groups. Studies 3 to 5 examined attributions of the interpersonal behaviour of one-self and others using photographs of facial expressions (Study 3), vignettes describing friendly, neutral and unfriendly interactions (Study 4), and ratings of self-reported negative interpersonal interactions based on a diary methodology (Study 5). Study 3 failed to find any evidence that perfectionists categorised facial expressions more negatively or made attributions of more negative mood based on facial expression relative to non-perfectionists. In Study 4 some high NEC but not SA groups made more negative attributions about the friendly and neutral behaviour of others and attributed more negative emotional responses to the person who was the object of the behaviour. In Study 5 two high NEC but no SA groups engaged in increased avoidance behaviour and some high NEC groups and one SA group differentially showed increased interpersonal distress. Individuals high in SA dimensions did not demonstrate more constructive approach behaviours. It was concluded that increased levels of interpersonal rejection sensitivity and more negative attributions about the friendly or neutral behaviour of others may mediate perceptions of increased negative interpersonal interactions for individuals high in some NEC dimensions. It was further concluded that increased interpersonal distress and subsequent vulnerability to psychopathology may be determined in part by the extent to which individuals are motivated by different perfectionistic concerns. Six distinctive profiles of results relating to interpersonal functioning and vulnerability to psychological distress were identified corresponding to individual or groups of perfectionistic traits. These conclusions must be considered in the light of limitations of the sample which was primarily confined to younger adults.


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Copyright 2006 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references

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