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Perfectionism and specific symptom clusters of depression Caelian, Carmen Frances

Abstract

The present study aims to clarify relationships between aspects of perfectionism and specific symptom clusters of depression. More specifically, this study examines whether trait perfectionism dimensions (self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism) and/or perfectionistic cognitions tend to be associated with certain types of depressive symptoms. A heterogeneous clinical sample of 75 individuals (39 males, 36 females) completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Additionally, a subclinical sample comprised of 225 individuals (71 males, 154 females) completed the MPS, the Perfectionism Cognitions Inventory (PCI), and the short form of the Multiscore Depression Inventory (SMDI). Our results reveal that socially prescribed perfectionism was significantly associated with depression in both samples. Specifically, this dimension was most strongly related to cognitive and affective depression symptoms, but also to somatic and behavioural symptoms. Additionally, regression analyses indicated that socially prescribed perfectionism was uniquely related to symptoms of low self-esteem, irritability, and hopelessness. Perfectionistic cognitions were also significantly associated with overall levels of depression and with cognitive and affective symptomatology. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that perfectionistic thinking was uniquely related to symptoms of low self-esteem, guilt, pessimism, irritability, and sad mood. Taken together, these findings reveal that both socially prescribed perfectionism and perfectionistic thinking are relevant to depressive outcomes and are associated primarily with cognitive and affective symptomatology. The results of this study highlight the importance of attempts to further understand the role of perfectionism in depression and of studying multiple facets of depressive phenomena.

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