A Pilot Study Exploring the Relationship Between Perfectionism and Anxiety in an Urban Middle School

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The purpose of this study was to identify whether maladaptive perfectionism predicts elevated symptoms of anxiety in a sample of primarily Puerto Rican middle school students. Participants included students (N = 128) from Grades 6 through 8 (48% male; average age = 11.9 years) who attended an urban, bilingual, public, charter school. Results suggested both general and specific links between maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety disorder symptoms. More specifically, socially-prescribed perfectionism (SPP) uniquely predicted symptoms of panic whereas self oriented perfectionism (SOP) uniquely predicted symptoms of social anxiety across the sample. These findings provide support for the previously established connection between various anxiety symptoms and perfectionism and demonstrate that such a connection exists in Latino adolescents. Given the strong relationship between different types of maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety, theoretical and cultural considerations should be considered to help better understand the nature of how perfectionism is linked to anxiety disorder manifestations. Future studies implementing more control and longitudinal designs may be useful to better understand how perfectionism may function as a transdiagnostic mechanism in the development and maintenance of anxiety in adolescents, and specifically those who identify as Latino.

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Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment


This article was published in Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment.

The published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0734282918819949.

Copyright © 2019 the Authors.

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