Perfectionism is a potentially maladaptive personality trait that is associated with dysfunctional family of origin parenting practices. In this research, a structural model was tested in which family cohesion was predicted to have indirect effects on perfectionism in emerging adults though anxious parenting and parental conditional regard.
The model was tested on a sample of 257 emerging adults attending universities in the U.S.A. Participants completed survey measures of perfectionism, their parents’ anxious parenting and conditional regard, and several indicators of family cohesion.
The results supported the hypothesized indirect effects, consistent with the anxious rearing and social expectations theoretical pathways to perfectionism. Specifically, family cohesion was negatively associated with both anxious rearing and conditional regard, each of which were in turn positively associated with perfectionism.
The findings suggest that perfectionism in young adults is linked with low levels of family cohesion that coexist in a network of dysfunctional parenting practices.