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Not One but Two Types of Perfectionism: The Structure of Perfectionism and Associations with Psychopathology

Not One but Two Types of Perfectionism: The Structure of Perfectionism and Associations with Psychopathology

The role of perfectionism in the aetiology and maintenance of eating disorders, depression and anxiety disorders has been widely established, however, the nature of the construct itself has evolved over the last three decades. Factor analysis of the most common multidimensional measures has distinguished two higher order factors, one focusing on high personal standards, and the second on evaluative concerns. 

Research has been inconsistent showing that not only do the perfectionism dimensions lead to distinct and diverse consequences, but they also operate differently across disorders. More recently, two bodies of literature have extended this debate. Dunkley and colleagues (2006) have argued that it is actually self-criticism rather than perfectionism that is harmful, while Shafran and colleagues (2002) have developed a uni-dimensional construct of “clinical perfectionism”, offering a more parsimonious approach to examining psychopathology and perfectionism. 

As a result there are now four variables, and corresponding measures, each argued to be the most relevant component of psychopathology. Using a sample of 893 young people, the purpose of this study was to a) investigate the factor structure of the combined measures to identify the most salient components of perfectionism; and b) to examine the reliability and validity of the resulting scales and their association with psychopathology.

The Butterfly Foundation have supported this research through the provision of a PhD Top Up Scholarship.

Speakers: Anne O'Shea
Conference: AACBT
Areas of Interest / Categories: AACBT 2014, Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders

AACBT 2014

Making a Public Health Approach to Parenting Support Really Work.

As the benefits of positive parenting programs become more apparent, there is increasing calls for such programs to be more widely available in the community. Poor reach of existing programs, low father

Transitioning to the ‘Third Wave’ Behaviour Therapies and their Relevance to Self-Care and Resiliency.

The transition to the ‘third wave’ behaviour therapies will be explored mainly with respect to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). A broad review and commentary on the current research

Using D-Cycloserine to Augment Exposure Therapy for Children with Specific Phobia.

D-Cycloserine (DCS) is a cognitive enhancing medication believed to “consolidate” fear extinction learning into memory during exposure therapy. This paper examines whether DCS could augment extinction of a specific fear in children. We conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled Randomized Controlled Trial to investigate whether 50mg of DCS can enhance fear extinction of a dog or spider phobia. Thus far, we have recruited 17 children (M age = 9.4 years) who ingested DCS or a placebo prior to receiving a massed session of in vivo exposure. Avoidance was measured using a standardized ten-step Behaviour Approach Tests (BAT), where successive steps increased proximity to the feared stimulus. BATs were conducted at pretreatment, immediately post-treatment and on follow-up one week later to measure return of fear.

Developing and Maintaining Resilient and Effective Therapists: The Role of Supervision.

Providing psychotherapy can be extremely rewarding but can also make a range of different demands on the therapist. These demands may vary as a function of the stage of development as a therapist, the type of caseload, the context in which the therapist works, the volume of work, and the interactions with other situations or events that may be happening elsewhere in the therapist’s professional and personal life. Supervision can have a range of functions, but one important function is supporting the therapist.  Effective supervision is thought to be a key contributor to ensuring not only safe and effective therapy but also to maintaining resourceful and resilient therapists. While other forms of psychotherapy have well established models and traditions of supervision, CBT is relatively lacking in these areas and there is relatively little literature to guide CBT supervision, especially in contrast to the vast literatures that exist for cognitive behaviour therapy.   

Internet delivered CBT: Are particular components and patterns of usage associated with better outcomes?

The field of e-psychology is rapidly expanding, with new Internet and phone-based programs regularly becoming available for an increasing variety of mental health issues. There is a strong evidence base supporting Internet delivered psychological interventions, but less is known about particular program components or patterns of usage that are most impactful and thus associated with better outcomes.

Anorexia Nervosa: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, both, or it depends?

The aim was to investigate the contributions of intrapersonal and interpersonal processes to eating disorders symptomatology in anorexia nervosa. Thematic analysis was used to investigate the interpersonal experiences of adolescent girls during inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa. In a quantitative study, findings from the qualitative study informed hypotheses, development of items for a self-report questionnaire and selection of validated questionnaires to assess eating disorders symptomatology, perfectionism and aspects of interpersonal functioning in women with anorexia nervosa and non-clinical female comparisons.

Body Image and Eating Disorder Symptomatology among Female Athletes.

The present study compared levels of body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating symptomatology among elite, recreational, and non-competitive female Australian athletes (N = 320) aged 17 to 30 years competing in leanness focused sports (e.g., Ballet, light weight rowing, long distance running) and non-leanness focused sports (e.g., netball, football, rugby).