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Meanings of Perfectionism: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

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Quantitative and qualitative analysis is used in this article to explore the meaning of perfectionism. The defining feature of perfectionism appears to be high personal standards. The distinction between having high standards and the affective, intrapersonal, and interpersonal responses to living up to those standards distinguish adaptive from maladaptive perfectionists. Adaptive perfectionists seem to be less distressed when high standards are not achieved whereas maladaptive perfectionists experience considerable distress. Individual interviews with perfectionists and non-perfectionists refined the meaning of perfectionism as one that generally encompasses elements of distress and typically emphasizes the desire to perform well. Other typical features of perfectionism also emerged and yielded several implications for psychotherapy and future research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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