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Keywords:

  • factor analysis;
  • perfectionism;
  • psychological testing and measurement/individual differences;
  • psychometric properties

The Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS) is a widely used measure of perfectionism. Previous studies of the nature of the factors of the FMPS have resulted in mixed findings and have failed to identify a stable factor structure. This study investigated the factor structure of the FMPS using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), addressing previous methodological limitations. Participants were 6,449 students from two Australian universities. Exploratory factor analysis suggested a five-factor model and a reduction in variables from 35 to 29 (FMPS-29). CFA demonstrated goodness of fit of the revised measure. We also compared our model with a number of existing measurement models of perfection and found the proposed model provided a superior fit for this university student population. Support was found for the two second-order constructs commonly referred to as adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism, although there appears to be little benefit in using this model over the first-order model. Implications of the findings are discussed.