This study investigated the development of perfectionism in adolescence by examining the associations between perfectionism, parenting styles, and friendship experiences. Furthermore, this study investigated the nature of perfectionism by examining whether internal psychological characteristics (i.e., loneliness, depressive symptoms, anxiety, self-esteem, and life satisfaction) were associated with the development of types of perfectionism (i.e., adaptive and maladaptive) or orientations of perfectionism (i.e., self-oriented or socially prescribed). Gender differences regarding each of these components were also explored. Questionnaires were completed by sixth, seventh, and eighth grade adolescents that measured perfectionism, internal psychological characteristics, perspective on parenting styles, and friendship quality. Three general findings emerged. First, results revealed a noteworthy gender difference regarding the relationship between the orientation of perfectionism and internal psychological characteristics. That is, males appeared more negatively affected by perfectionism than females. Second, a significant relationship was found between parenting styles and the types and orientations of perfectionism. Authoritarian parenting was associated with maladaptive, adaptive, self-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism. Third, counter to predictions, no significant relationship was found between the types or orientations of perfectionism and the quality of the adolescents' friendships. Overall, this study helps to better understand the role of perfectionism in adolescent development.
Kwoka '06, Heather, "The Development of Perfectionism among Adolescents: Comparing the Influence of Friends and Parents" (2006). Honors Projects. Paper 1.