The purpose of this study was to examine associations between multidimensional perfectionism and anxiety across the school year in a sample of first-generation high school students (i.e., neither parent completed post-secondary school). Three competing theoretical models were tested (i.e., the vulnerability model, in which perfectionism predicts increased psychopathology; the scar model, in which psychopathology predicts increased levels of perfectionism; and the reciprocal-causality model, in which perfectionism and psychopathology predict each other over time). The sample included 148 high school students (44% boys) between the ages of 13 and 18 (M = 14.90 years; SD = 1.29) who were surveyed at the beginning and end of the school year. Using a half-longitudinal design with latent cross-lagged analyses, results indicated that greater anxiety predicted higher levels of self-oriented perfectionism over time, after accounting for age, sex, emotional stability, and conscientiousness. Findings support the scar model whereby psychopathology predicts perfectionism in first-generation youth.
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We would like to acknowledge that this research was supported by an Insight grant (435-2017-1472) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). We would also like to acknowledge the late Dr. Zopito Marini, who was fundamental in the design and initial success of this research study. We continue to work on this study, always keeping his teachings in mind.
This research was supported by an Insight grant (435-2017-1472) from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). This research was undertaken, in part, thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program.
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Spadafora, N., Blackburn, M., Methot-Jones, T. et al. How is Multidimensional Trait Perfectionism Related to Anxiety Across Time in First-Generation Secondary Students?. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 44, 1043–1053 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-022-09972-w
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