Category: Transdiagnostic

Symposium

Self-Critical Perfectionism and Daily Stress, Rumination, Mindfulness, and Negative Affect

Friday, November 17
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom A, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Stress | Rumination | Mood
Presentation Type: Symposium

Over the past three decades, perfectionism has received increasing theoretical and empirical attention as a cognitive-personality factor that increases vulnerability to a wide range of psychological problems, including depression and anxiety. Consistent with a Cognitive-Behavior Therapy approach, our research has used a daily diary method to obtain several assessments of appraisals, coping, and affect for each individual in their natural everyday environments. Our previous studies have demonstrated the pervasive and enduring stress and coping (e.g., avoidant) problems that generate persistent depressive and anxious symptoms for self-critical (SC) perfectionistic individuals in nonclinical (e.g., Dunkley et al., 2003, 2014) and clinical samples (e.g., Dunkley et al., 2006, 2016). This study of 143 community adults extends our previous research by examining the role of daily emotion regulation in the relation between SC perfectionism and negative mood.  Participants completed measures of perfectionism, and then completed online daily measures of rumination, mindfulness, stress appraisals, and negative affect for eight consecutive days. Zero-order correlations showed that SC perfectionism was related to aggregated daily ruminative brooding (r = .50), stress (r = .38), negative affect (r = .48), and sadness (r = .40), and inversely related to non-judging of inner experience (r = -.44). Path analyses demonstrated that the relation between SC perfectionism and the maintenance of negative mood was mediated by ruminative brooding, critical judging of inner experience, and stress tendencies.  Multilevel modeling indicated that individuals with higher SC perfectionism, compared to those with lower SC perfectionism, exhibited heightened emotionally reactivity (i.e., greater increases in negative affect) in response to daily increases in ruminative brooding, judging of inner experience, and stress. These findings highlight the importance of targeting reactions to stress in daily life in order to help provide tailored treatments for self-critical perfectionistic individuals.

David Dunkley

Associate Professor
Lady Davis Institute - Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Canada, McGill University

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Self-Critical Perfectionism and Daily Stress, Rumination, Mindfulness, and Negative Affect



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