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Measuring perfectionism in children: a systematic review of the mental health literature

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Abstract

The adverse consequences of perfectionism in the lives of youth (children and adolescents) are now widely recognised, including impact on mental health and general well-being. In order to develop interventions to prevent and treat perfectionism and promote resilience for children, rigorous testing and examination of theoretical models is needed as well as having access to valid and reliable assessment tools. The aim of the current literature review was to examine the validity and reliability of the measures currently being used to measure perfectionism in children under the age of 15. A systematic review of the literature identified six instruments that had been utilised in children. Preliminary support with respect to reliability and validity was established for each of these measures, and there was evidence supporting the existence of both perfectionistic striving and perfectionistic concerns in this population. However, many of the measures lacked evaluation of key psychometric properties by independent authors. Further work distinguishing adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism will be necessary to promote future interventions and treatment in this area.

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Correspondence to Tracey D. Wade.

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Leone, E.M., Wade, T.D. Measuring perfectionism in children: a systematic review of the mental health literature. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 27, 553–567 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-017-1078-8

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