Coping Style as a Moderator of Perfectionism and Suicidal Ideation Among Undergraduate Students

  • Abbas Abdollahi
  • Per Carlbring


Suicide is a serious and growing public health problem and remains an unnecessary cause of death globally. In Iran, the highest prevalence of acute and chronic suicidal ideation is among young people aged 16–24. This study investigates the relationship between coping style, two types of perfectionism, and suicidal ideation among undergraduates, and examines coping style as a moderator of the relationship between perfectionism and suicidal ideation. Multi-stage cluster random sampling was employed to recruit 547 undergraduate students aged 19–24 years from the Islamic Azad University of Karaj. Structural Equation Modelling indicated that suicidal ideation was negatively associated with adaptive perfectionism and task-focused coping but positively associated with emotion-focused coping, avoidance coping, and maladaptive perfectionism. Coping style (including the three styles of task-focused, emotion-focused, and avoidance coping) was found to moderate the relationship between perfectionism and suicidal ideation. The study advances understanding of the importance of coping style in this context and explains how perfectionism affects suicidal ideation.


Coping styles Perfectionism Suicidal ideation Undergraduates Iranian 



This study was not funded by any grant.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest


Ethical Approval

All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Universiti Putra Malaysia and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individuals participating in the present study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Malaysian Research Institute of Ageing (My Aging)Universiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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