Perfectionism, Coping, and Quality of Intimate Relationships

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Abstract

The present study examined the associations among perfectionism, marital coping, and marital functioning in a community sample of 76 couples. A theoretical model was tested in which maladaptive coping mediates the relationship between trait perfectionism and poorer marital functioning. As predicted, one of the interpersonal dimensions of perfectionism, socially prescribed perfectionism, was associated with maladaptive marital coping and poorer marital adjustment for both the self and the partner, even after controlling for depression and neuroticism. Finally, the use of negative coping strategies mediated the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism and poorer marital functioning for both the self and the partner. Overall, this study highlights the importance of spouse-specific forms of perfectionism in marital adjustment.

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