Academic journal article Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development

The Relationship between Perfectionism and Multidimensional Life Satisfaction among High School Adolescents in Turkey

Academic journal article Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development

The Relationship between Perfectionism and Multidimensional Life Satisfaction among High School Adolescents in Turkey

Article excerpt

The author investigated the contribution of perfectionism to life satisfaction among Turkish adolescents. The analyses revealed that high standards and orderliness/organization were positive predictors of life satisfaction, whereas the discrepancy between one's standards and one's actual performance was a negative predictor of life satisfaction.

El autor investigo la contribucion del perfeccionismo a la satisfaccion vital entre adolescentes turcos. Los analisis revelaron que las expectativas elevadas y el orden/organizacion fueron indicadores de prediccion positivos de la satisfaccion vital, mientras que la discrepancia entre las expectativas propias y el rendimiento real fue un indicador de prediccion negativo de la satisfaccion vital.


Perfectionism has been described as "striving for flawlessness" (Flett & Hewitt, 2002, p. 5), and the negative correlates and consequence of perfectionism have been emphasized by researchers (e.g., Dinc, 2001; Erozkan, 2005; Frost Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990). Conversely, some authors (e.g., Adler, 1956) believed that having high personal standards was necessary for positive mental health. Many researchers have argued that a distinction must be made between neurotic perfectionism, which is maladaptive, and normal perfectionism, which is adaptive (Frost et al., 1990; Hamachek, 1978). According to Hamachek, normal perfectionism allows for the setting of realistic goals and feelings of satisfaction when these goals are achieved. Neurotic perfectionism, on the other hand, involves the setting of unrealistically high standards and the inability to accept mistakes.

The results of research have supported the multidimensional relationships of perfectionism. For example, adaptive perfectionism has been found to be positively related to positive affect (Rice & Mirzadeh, 2002) and self-esteem (Ashby & Rice, 2002; Stumpf & Parker, 2000; Trumpeter, Watson, & O'Leary, 2006). Conversely, maladaptive perfectionism has been found to be related to depression as well as negatively related to responsiveness to therapies for depression (Bieling, Israeli, & Antony, 2004; Hewitt et al., 2002). Blatt (1995) noted that there is a relationship between perfectionism and suicide.

The three most commonly used measures of perfectionism were developed in the early 1990s: the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Frost et al., 1990), the Hewitt Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Hewitt & Flett, 1991), and the Almost Perfect Scale (APS; Slaney &Johnson, 1992). Factor analyses of the aforementioned perfectionism scales supported a higher order two-factor structure, labeled Adaptive Perfectionism and Maladaptive Perfectionism (Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001). However, Slaney et al. argued that although the Adaptive factor in all three studies was clearly dominated by the subscales that measured high standards, the essential nature of the Maladaptive factor was harder to distinguish. Therefore, Slaney et al. developed the APS-Revised.

dimension of perfectionism

High standards and orderliness capture the essential and adaptive aspects of perfectionism (Slaney et al., 2001). A person holding high standards for his or her performance has high expectations for himself or herself. Orderliness, neatness, and organization are integral to the definition of perfectionism, most often in combination with high standards. For an orderly person, neatness is important and he or she likes to be organized and disciplined. The defining negative aspect of perfectionism is the concept of discrepancy, that is, the perceived discrepancy between the standards one has for oneself and one's actual performance.

life satisfaction

Life satisfaction has been defined as a "global evaluation by the person of his or her life" (Pavot, Diener, Colvin, & Sandvick, 1991, p. 150). Pavot et al. argued that individuals construct a standard, which they perceive as appropriate for themselves, and compare the circumstances of their life to that standard. …

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