Perfectionism coping flexibility and psychological distress in college students

Zhang, Yiling
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2012]
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
Perfectionism has received extensive research interests in recent years. While rigidity is implied in the definition of perfectionism, there have been very few studies that explored the relationship between perfectionism and rigidity. The current study examined the relationship between perfectionism and coping inflexibility (as a measure of rigidity) and whether coping inflexibility played a role in any relationships between perfectionism and positive/negative psychological outcomes. The current study focused on two dimensions of perfectionism: self-oriented perfectionism (SOP) and socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP). Coping flexibility, in this study defined as people's ability to modify their coping according to situational demands was measured using both hypothetical scenarios and a weeklong daily diary method. Three hundred sixteen college students participated in the study. After completing a set of questionnaires online, participants reported daily negative stressors and their appraisals, coping, and positive/negative affect states at the end of the day for 7 days. The current study found no support for the relationship between SOP and coping flexibility and SOP predicted higher rates of positive affect measured two different ways. There was partial support for the relationship between SPP and coping flexibility. Higher SPP consistently predicted higher negative affect. Individuals with high SPP engaged in coping choices that did not match with the daily situational demand as measured by perceived controllability and therefore were deemed to be coping inflexibly. However, SPP was not associated with coping flexibility measured by hypothetical scenarios. Rigidity in SPP was more associated with lack of situation-strategy fit than with rigidity in appraisals of controllability or in the use of particular coping strategies across situations. The role that coping flexibility played in the relationship between SPP and daily negative affect was implied but could not be directly examined in the current study.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.
Includes bibliographical references.
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Psychology.
Rights Holder
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.