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01-09-2014 | Uitgave 3/2014

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 3/2014

Perfectionism in Pediatric Anxiety and Depressive Disorders

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review > Uitgave 3/2014
Nicholas W. Affrunti, Janet Woodruff-Borden


Although perfectionism has been identified as a factor in many psychiatric disorders across the life span, it is relatively understudied in pediatric anxiety and depressive disorders. Furthermore, there exists little cohesion among previous research, restricting the conclusions that can be made across studies. In this review, research associating perfectionism with pediatric anxiety and depression is examined and a framework is presented synthesizing research to date. We focus on detailing the current understanding of how perfectionism develops and interacts with other developmental features characteristic of anxiety and depression in children and potential pathways that result in anxiety and depressive disorders. This includes: how perfectionism is measured in children, comparisons with relevant adult literature, the development of perfectionism in children and adolescents, mediators and moderators of the link between perfectionism and anxiety and depression, and the role of perfectionism in treatment and prevention of these disorders. We also present research detailing perfectionism across cultures. Findings from these studies are beginning to implicate perfectionism as an underlying process that may contribute broadly to the development of anxiety and depression in a pediatric population. Throughout the review, difficulties, limitations, and gaps in the current understanding are presented while offering suggestions for future research.

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