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Perfectionism has been linked with psychopathology and other difficulties in children. As such, research has begun to focus on those factors that predict perfectionism in children. Separate lines of research have identified temperament and parenting as two specific areas that are associated with perfectionism in children. Yet, few studies have investigated these two areas within a single study and none have examined whether effortful control reduces perfectionism. The current study sought to examine the roles of negative affect, effortful control, and parental anxious rearing on child perfectionism using a single path model. Participants were 59 parent-child dyads recruited from the community. Children were between the ages of 7.5 and 13 years (55% female; 75% Caucasian; 16.7% African American). The model fit the data well. Results indicated that anxious rearing predicted increased perfectionism, whereas effortful control predicted decreased perfectionism. Additionally, there was a significant indirect effect of anxious rearing on the association between negative affect and perfectionism. However, contrary to expectations, negative affect did not significantly predict increased perfectionism, and effortful control did not moderate these effects. Results suggest that negative affect may be indirectly related to child perfectionism, through anxious rearing, and that effortful control may help protect children from developing high levels of perfectionism. Additionally, the results are consistent with theoretical models of perfectionism development and suggest multiple domains contribute to perfectionism.
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- The Roles of Anxious Rearing, Negative Affect, and Effortful Control in a Model of Risk for Child Perfectionism
Nicholas W. Affrunti
- Springer US