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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Perfectionism (Personality trait), Depression, Mental-Etiology, Adaptability (Psychology), Rigidity (Psychology), Moderation, Mediation, Achievement motivation, Multidimensional perfectionism, Depression, Brooding, Rumination, Attitudinal flexibility, Cognitive rigidity


Perfectionism is defined as a multidimensional personality trait wherein individuals set excessively high standards and engage in overly critical self-evaluations. Understanding of the relationship between dimensions of perfectionism and psychopathology has evolved in the last 20 years, revealing two major dimensions. Evaluative concerns, or maladaptive perfectionism, is consistently associated with depressive symptoms, but achievement striving, or adaptive perfectionism, is not reliably linked with depressive experiences in previous empirical literature. These findings are not entirely consistent with Beck's theories of depression, which support both dimensions of perfectionism as predictive personality traits for depressive experiences. This study set out to examine whether rumination mediates the relationship between evaluative concerns and depression, and moderates the relationship between achievement striving and depression. Rigidity was considered as a moderator of both models. All 277 participants were contacted over the internet, and were given a survey to complete online. Bivariate correlations indicated a positive relationship between evaluative concerns, rumination, rigidity, and depression. Achievement striving was correlated with rigidity alone. Results indicated that brooding rumination partially mediated the relationship between evaluative concerns and depression, while brooding did not moderate the relationship between achievement striving and depression. Rigidity did not moderate any outcomes. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.




39 pages : illustrations. Honors Project-Smith College, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 25-28)