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Dimensions of Perfectionism, Unconditional Self-Acceptance, and Depression

Abstract

The current research investigated the associations among dimensions of perfectionism, unconditional self-acceptance, and self-reported depression. A sample of 94 students completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, the Unconditional Self-Acceptance Questionnaire, and a self-report depression measure. Correlational results indicated that all three trait dimensions of perfectionism (i.e., self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism) were associated negatively with unconditional self-acceptance. Also, as expected, depression was associated with relatively low unconditional self-acceptance. Finally, a path analysis revealed that unconditional self-acceptance mediated the association between socially prescribed perfectionism and depression, and other-oriented perfectionism was found to affect depression only indirectly through its association with low levels of self-acceptance. The findings indicate that perfectionists evaluate themselves in terms of a contingent sense of self-worth, and as such, they are vulnerable to psychological distress when they experience negative events that do not affirm their self-worth.

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Flett, G.L., Besser, A., Davis, R.A. et al. Dimensions of Perfectionism, Unconditional Self-Acceptance, and Depression. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy 21, 119–138 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025051431957

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  • perfectionism
  • depression
  • self-acceptance
  • self-worth