Relation between childhood peer victimization and adult perfectionism: are victims of indirect aggression more perfectionistic?

Authors

  • Jessie L. Miller,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    • Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Tracy Vaillancourt

    1. Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Using two independent samples and two different measures of perfectionism, this study investigated the hypothesized relation between retrospective accounts of perceived peer-inflicted emotional abuse during childhood and perfectionism in adulthood. Emotional victimization (‘indirect’ aggression) is characterized by behavior in which mental harm is inflicted on victims through exclusionary acts, gossiping, and rumor spreading. Study one: Self-reported questionnaires of indirect victimization [DIAS; Bjorkqvist, Lagerspetz, and Osterman, 1992] and perfectionism [multidimensional perfectionism scale; Hewitt and Flett, 1991] were administered to 162 (mean age=20.14 years) female undergraduate psychology students. Results support the predicted positive relationship between recalled indirect peer victimization and current socially prescribed/self-oriented perfectionism. Study two: self-reports of indirect peer victimization and perfectionism (eating disorder inventory-perfectionism) were collected from 196 (mean age=19.5 years) female undergraduate students. Again, recalled indirect peer victimization was a statistically significant predictor of current socially prescribed/self-oriented perfectionism whereas recalled direct (physical, verbal) peer victimization held no relation. Discussion addresses the implications of these results, which hold importance for both the bullying and perfectionism literatures. Aggr. Behav. 33:1–12, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss; Inc.

Ancillary