Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 541–553 | Cite as

Perfectionism, Stressful Life Events, and the 1-Year Outcome of Depression

  • Murray W. EnnsEmail author
  • Brian J. Cox


Previous research has suggested that dimensions of perfectionism may interact with matching stressors to predict depression, but only one longitudinal study has evaluated such interactions in a clinical sample. This study evaluated whether Hewitt and Flett's perfectionism specific vulnerability model (1993) could account for persistence of depression symptoms over a 1-year period in a group of 157 outpatients with major depressive disorder. All analyses controlled for Time 1 depression symptoms. The main findings were that self-oriented perfectionism interacted with achievement related but not interpersonal life events to predict nonremission at Time 2. The interaction between self-oriented perfectionism and achievement-related life events predicted Time 2 BDI scores at a trend level only (p = .06). Socially prescribed perfectionism was strongly associated with concurrent depression symptoms at Time 1, but did not interact with interpersonal or achievement life events to predict Time 2 outcome and did not predict Time 2 outcome as a main effect. The results provide support for the role of perfectionism in the persistence of depression and for the specific role of self-oriented perfectionism in vulnerability to depression in the context of achievement life events.

Key words

perfectionism depression life events vulnerability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryWinnipegCanada

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