How Facets of Perfectionism Relate to Positive Psychology and Psychopathology-Related Factors



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Perfectionism has frequently been considered an underlying dispositional trait found in various forms of psychopathology. Perfectionism has been operationalized as setting high personal standards and self-evaluating based on reaching unrealistic goals. However, there may be two key facets of perfectionism, adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism (i.e., positive striving and maladaptive evaluative concerns), that could be associated with distinct outcomes related to overall functioning. The adaptive facet of perfectionism may be associated with positive characteristics such as hope and curiosity, two psychological processes that promote positive affect, personal growth, and motivation to achieve. Another potentially relevant adaptive characteristic, quiet ego, also involves an orientation toward personal growth and mindful non-defensiveness in relation to others. However, the relationships among perfectionism and these positive psychological factors have been under-examined empirically. In this study, along with the examination of positive psychology constructs, relevant constructs associated with maladaptive outcomes were included to increase understanding of personality dispositions that may contribute negatively to perfectionism. A total of 289 students completed online questionnaires to assess levels of hope, curiosity, quiet ego, rejection sensitivity, fear of negative evaluation and facets of perfectionism. Hierarchical linear regression analysis results were consistent with hypothesized relationships linking hope and curiosity with positive striving perfectionism, and linking fear of negative evaluation, rejection sensitivity, and quiet ego with maladaptive evaluative concerns perfectionism. However, small, unexpected relationships were also found. Study findings support the interrelated nature of facets of perfectionism with constructs empirically related to both positive and negative outcomes.



adaptive perfectionism, maladaptive perfectionism, quiet ego, hope, curiosity