Seeking the perfect balance: Perfectionism and work–family conflict


Correspondence should be addressed to Jacqueline K. Mitchelson, Department of Psychology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5214, USA (e-mail:


This study considers the relationship between perfectionism and perceptions of work–family conflict. A situational component to perfectionism was found, with higher standards and a higher perceived discrepancy between standards and performance at home versus at work. Findings suggest perfectionism predicts work–family conflict, beyond the effects of the Big Five, trait affectivity and achievement. Further, findings indicate those with adaptive perfectionism (AP; work and home) tend to have lower strain and time-based family interfering with work and lower behaviour-based work interfering with family, compared with maladaptive perfectionists (home) and non-perfectionists (work and home). Gender differences were found and considered in a more exploratory manner.