Although many studies have investigated the relationship between perfectionism, anxiety, and depression among the adults, little is known about the manifestations of perfectionism among schoolage youths. This study has investigated this relationship in an Iranian sample.
Using multistage cluster random sampling, 793 Iranian school students in 2007 were studied. Data of demographic characteristics, children's depression inventory, revised children's manifest anxiety scale, and the positive and negative perfectionism scales were obtained using questionnaires.
The results indicated that both aspects of perfectionism are associated with depression and anxiety. Negative and positive perfectionism have positive and negative associations, respectively, with depression and anxiety. The interaction of anxiety and depression with perfectionism reveals that depression is in association with lower scores of positive perfectionism, whereas in students with higher scores of negative perfectionism, the anxiety scores are also higher. Moreover, the accompaniment of anxiety with depression is in association with relatively lower levels of negative perfectionism.
It was concluded that negative perfectionism is a risk factor for both depression and anxiety, while positive perfectionism is a protective factor. However, the interventions which encourage the positive aspects of perfectionism and decrease its negative aspects may be able to diminish psychopathological subsequence.