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Self-Criticism, Maladaptive Perfectionism, and Depression Symptoms in a Community Sample: A Longitudinal Test of the Mediating Effects of Person-Dependent Stressful Life Events

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Both self-criticism and maladaptive dimensions of perfectionism have been associated with depression symptoms, based on cross-sectional and some longitudinal research with selective clinical and student samples. The present study evaluated a mediation model involving self-criticism, maladaptive dimensions of perfectionism, and depression-related symptoms at baseline (Time 1), and person-dependent stressful life events and depression-related symptoms 12 months later (Time 2), in a more representative noninstitutionalized sample. Participants included 723 community-based adults in an urban area. A proposed mediation model based on recent theoretical writings was evaluated, whereby the effects of self-criticism and maladaptive perfectionism on subsequent depression symptoms were hypothesized to be mediated by person-dependent stressful life events. In female respondents, the relationship between self-criticism and Time 2 depression was not mediated by person-dependent stressful life events and the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism and Time 2 depression was fully mediated by person-dependent life events. In male respondents, self-criticism showed evidence of partial mediation while doubts about actions and socially prescribed perfectionism did not have significant main effects on Time 2 depression. Clinical and research implications of this important cognitive diathesis domain in association with person-dependent stressful life events and subsequent depression are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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