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Perfectionism and interpersonal functioning

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Cuéllar, KN (2006) Perfectionism and interpersonal functioning. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Perfectionism (Personality trait)
Copyright Information:

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).

Additional Information:

Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2006. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 00:10
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2017 22:16
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