The Effect of Perfectionism and Unconditional Self-acceptance on Depression

ABSTRACT

The study examined the relationships between perfectionism, unconditional self-acceptance and depression. The non-clinical sample comprised 134 participants, each of whom completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Unconditional Self-Acceptance Questionnaire (USAQ), the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Inventory (CES-D) and several measures of perfectionism. Significant levels of association were found between all measures, and support was provided for the concept of perfectionism as having a neutral core, distinguishable from its consequences, and for the theory that it is the negative consequences of perfectionism, rather than perfectionism per se, that lead to depression. Path Analysis provided support for the mediator model proposed by Flett et al. [Flett, G. L., Besser, A., Davis, R. A., Hewitt, P. L. (2003). Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 21, 119–138], in which unconditional self-acceptance mediates the effect of socially prescribed perfectionism on depression, and for a more generic model, in which the core construct of perfectionism can have negative consequences, which lead to low levels of unconditional self-acceptance, and thence to depression. Finally, a distinction was drawn between developmental and operational models of perfectionism.

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Correspondence to Joe Scott.

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Scott, J. The Effect of Perfectionism and Unconditional Self-acceptance on Depression. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther 25, 35–64 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-006-0032-3

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Keywords

  • perfectionism
  • MPS
  • PQ
  • unconditional self-acceptance
  • USAQ
  • self-esteem
  • depression
  • CES-D