Worry, Procrastination, and Perfectionism: Differentiating Amount of Worry, Pathological Worry, Anxiety, and Depression

Abstract

This study investigates features that differentiate worry from somatic anxiety and depression. Theoretical models of the worry process suggest that worry is closely related to procrastination. In addition, research on worry and elevated evidence requirements proposes a relationship between worry and perfectionism. Perfectionism, however, is multidimensional in nature. Moreover, previous research has linked procrastination and perfectionism mainly to anxiety and depression. Therefore, the relationship among worry, procrastination, and dimensions of perfectionism was investigated in a sample of 180 students, controlling for anxiety and depression. Results show that worry had substantial correlations with procrastination and perfectionism, particularly with perfectionist concern over mistakes and doubts. Moreover, worry was related to parental criticism and expectations, but unrelated to excessively high personal standards. Instead, high-worriers reported to lower standards under stress. Partial correlations indicated that these correlations were specific for amount of worry, thus differentiating amount of worry, pathological worry, anxiety, and depression.

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Stöber, J., Joormann, J. Worry, Procrastination, and Perfectionism: Differentiating Amount of Worry, Pathological Worry, Anxiety, and Depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research 25, 49–60 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026474715384

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  • anxiety
  • depression
  • procrastination
  • perfectionism
  • level of aspiration