Perfectionism and well-being: associations and developing a dual-Factor intervention for UK undergraduates

COOPER, Lucy Nicola (2022). Perfectionism and well-being: associations and developing a dual-Factor intervention for UK undergraduates. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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The aim of this research was to better understand the relationships between multidimensional perfectionism, well-being, and mental health in UK undergraduates, and investigate the effectiveness of a new dual-factor intervention for perfectionist students, incorporating cognitive-behavioural and positive psychology principles. Studies 1 and 2 examined the nomological network of perfectionism amongst UK undergraduates, using data collected from a large-scale survey (N = 1136), including measures of mental health, well-being, and social-media use. Zero-order correlations (Study 1) found Perfectionistic Concerns (PC) was consistently related to poorer mental health and well-being in students, however Perfectionistic Strivings (PS) was considered more “neutral” in its primarily weak relationships with key factors, supporting existing theoretical perspectives (i.e., perfectionism cognition theory, Flett et al., 2016; diathesis-stress model, Hewitt & Flett, 2002; social-disconnection model, Sherry et al., 2016). Multiple regression analyses (Study 2) were used to identify unique relationships of perfectionism dimensions and subscales, finding PS significantly predicted higher well-being and the reverse for PC, providing further evidence of suppression effects. This suggests PS may be adaptive for students, when overlap with PC is statistically controlled for, indicating possible limitations in the application of existing theories for understanding how perfectionism impacts students’ well-being. A pilot dual-factor intervention was developed and delivered in Study 3. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests found a significant decrease in PS and PC in participants (n = 7) post-intervention (compared with no significant change for control group; n = 25), but no significant change in anxiety nor flourishing. Themes of “Usefulness” and “Connectedness” were generated following thematic analysis of participants’ feedback, highlighting the benefit of integrating positive psychology interventions. Implications for extending knowledge of perfectionism and well-being in UK undergraduates are discussed, as well as the application of a promising dual-factor perfectionism intervention, and the limitations of using the Perfectionism Inventory (Hill et al., 2004, 2010)

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Macaskill, Ann [0000-0001-9972-8699]
Thesis advisor - Reynolds, David [0000-0003-0228-7351]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Prof. Ann Macaskill / Supervisor: Dr. David Reynolds
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
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Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2023 15:29
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 13:16

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