The Role of Experiential Avoidance in the Relationship Between Maladaptive Perfectionism and Worry

This study examined the role of experiential avoidance in the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and worry. The hypothesis was that experiential avoidance would mediate the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and worry. A total of 125 undergraduate participants completed measures assessing perfectionism, experiential avoidance, worry, depression, and social anxiety. A series of regression analyses showed that maladaptive perfectionism and experiential avoidance were significantly associated with worry and that experiential avoidance was a partial mediator in the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and worry. Partial correlations revealed significant relationships between experiential avoidance and worry and between one aspect of maladaptive perfectionism and worry independent of depression and social anxiety. Results suggest that experiential avoidance may be an important variable contributing to the occurrence of worry within the context of maladaptive perfectionism.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Cynthia L. Turk and Randy Fingerhut for their helpful feedback on this research project. Many thanks also to Chad Morrow, Sharon Armstrong, and Montgomery County Community College for assistance with data collection

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Correspondence to Frank L. Gardner.

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This research was part of the first author's dissertation.

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Santanello, A.W., Gardner, F.L. The Role of Experiential Avoidance in the Relationship Between Maladaptive Perfectionism and Worry. Cogn Ther Res 31, 319–332 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-006-9000-6

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KEY WORDS:

  • experiential avoidance
  • perfectionism
  • worry
  • mediation