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Perfectionistic Self-Presentation and Trait Perfectionism in Social Problem-Solving Ability and Depressive Symptoms

Authors

  • Avi Besser,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Behavioral Sciences
      Center for Research in Personality, Life Transitions, and Stressful Life Events
      Sapir Academic College, Israel
      Avi Besser, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Sapir Academic College, D. N. Hof Ashkelon, 79165 Israel. E-mail: besser@mail.sapir.ac.il
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    • Gordon L. Flett,

      1. York University
        Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    • Paul L. Hewitt

      1. University of British Columbia
        Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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    Avi Besser, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Sapir Academic College, D. N. Hof Ashkelon, 79165 Israel. E-mail: besser@mail.sapir.ac.il

    Abstract

    This study examined social problem solving and perfectionistic self-presentation, and assessed whether social problem solving mediates the association between perfectionism and depression. A sample of 200 community members completed measures of perfectionistic self-presentation, trait perfectionism, social problem-solving ability, and depression. Correlational analyses confirmed that perfectionistic self-presentation and socially prescribed perfectionism are both associated with a negative problem-solving orientation. Tests of mediating effects revealed that negative problem-solving ability mediates the associations of socially prescribed perfectionism and perfectionistic self-presentation with depressive symptoms, particularly among women. The findings support further exploration of mediational models linking perfectionism, problem-solving ability, and depression and suggest that people who display high perfectionistic self-presentation are particularly vulnerable to stress and distress and should benefit from problem-solving training.

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