Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Elizabeth A Gosch, PhD, ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stephanie H Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Stephanie E Yoder, PsyD


In this study, perfectionism was examined as a potential disposition for psychological distress, and cognitive distortions were evaluated as a mediator. Three hundred fifty-two graduate students from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine were recruited to participate in the study during the 2015 summer and fall terms, of which a total of 147 completed the surveys on both occasions. Using a two-wave longitudinal design, we assessed perfectionism, cognitive distortions, stressors, and symptoms of psychological distress using the following self-report measures: the Clinical Perfectionism Questionnaire, the Cognitive Distortions Scale, the Life Experiences Survey, and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18. Findings revealed that perfectionism was moderately stable over time and predicted psychological distress at Time 2; moreover, the relationship was mediated by cognitive distortions. Significant differences emerged between participants reporting low, average, and high levels of perfectionism. Taken together, this study expanded upon existing literature by further clarifying the construct of perfectionism, and it also contributed to empirical support for the cognitive model.

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Psychology Commons