Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Big Five Personality Factors, Perceived Parenting Styles, and Perfectionism among Academically Gifted Students

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Big Five Personality Factors, Perceived Parenting Styles, and Perfectionism among Academically Gifted Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study focuses on the examination of Big Five personality factors and perceived parenting styles in predicting positive and negative perfectionism among academically gifted students. Through cross-sectional random sampling procedures, 448 form four students (16 years old) involved particularly those who scored straight A's in Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR). The participants responded to three related instruments, comprises of the International Personality Item Pool, Parental Authority Questionnaire, and Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. The study utilized K-Mean cluster analysis to cluster the perfectionism of the students. Stepwise multiple regressions used to determine the role of Big Five personality factors and perceived parenting styles in predicting positive and negative perfectionism. The findings showed 259 (57.8%), 136 (30.4%), and 53 (11.8%) students were clustered to dysfunctional/neurotic perfectionistic, healthy/normal perfectionistic, and non-perfectionistic, respectively. The results of two separate stepwise multiple regression analyses found that positive perfectionism was significantly predicted by several factors including paternal authoritative style, openness to experiences, maternal authoritative style, and conscientiousness. On the other hand, negative perfectionism was significantly predicted by maternal authoritarian style, neuroticism, and paternal authoritarian style. As predicted, permissive parenting style showed no contribution in predicting positive and negative perfectionism. Implications, limitations, and recommendation of the study are addressed briefly in this research. In fact, this is one of the first empirical studies of perfectionism relating to Big Five personality factors and perceived parenting styles among academically gifted students in Malaysia.

Keywords: academically gifted students, Big Five personality factors, perceived parenting styles, perfectionism

1. Introduction

Academically gifted students exhibit high performance capability in intellectual areas, specific academic fields, or in both intellectual areas and specific academic fields. Myths that academically gifted students don't need help as they will do fine in their own and they are happy, popular and well-adjusted in school, have been proven wrong (Chan, 2010; SpeirsNeumeister, Williams, & Cross, 2009; Tam & Phillipson, 2013). Their characteristics often lead to social and emotional problems that can affect their emotional and social development, and one of the characteristics is perfectionism. Previously, perfectionism has been examined primarily from a pathological perspective as a negative characteristic that must be eliminated if gifted students are to function successfully (Rice, Ashby, & Slaney, 2007). However, many researchers now believe that perfectionism exists on a continuum of behaviors and thoughts and has positive or negative aspects (Silverman, 2007). There are not enough studies carried out in Malaysia to identify clusters of perfectionisms among academically gifted students. The students should know at what cluster of perfectionisms they are in so that appropriate interventions and enrichment programs can be done for them by teachers at schools and parents at home. Flett and Hewitt (2002) indicated two major factors contribute to the development of perfectionism, which are parenting styles and personality of the child. McCrae and Costa (1987) identified Big Five personality factors (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) while Baumrind (1971) highlighted three types of parenting styles (permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative). Since academically gifted students have the tendencies to be perfectionists (Chan, 2010; Silverman, 2007), investigation on what kind of personality and perceived parenting style that contribute to the development of positive and negative perfectionism is a need.

1.1 Problem Statement

Perfectionism is a combination of thoughts and behaviors associated with excessively high standards or expectations for one's own performance and are recognized as a common emotional trait of giftedness (Chan, 2010; Silverman, 2007; SpeirsNeumeister et al. …

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