The relationship between perfectionism and psychopathology: a meta-analysis

Karina Limburg, Hunna J. Watson, Martin S. Hagger, Sarah J. Egan

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    317 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The clinical significance of 2 main dimensions of perfectionism (perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns) was examined via a meta-analysis of studies investigating perfectionism in the psychopathology literature. Method: We investigated relationships between psychopathology outcomes (clinical diagnoses of depression, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders; symptoms of these disorders; and outcomes related to psychopathology, such as deliberate self-harm, suicidal ideation, and general distress) and each perfectionism dimension. The relationships were examined by evaluating (a) differences in the magnitude of association of the 2 perfectionism dimensions with psychopathology outcomes and (b) subscales of 2 common measures of perfectionism. Results: A systematic literature search retrieved 284 relevant studies, resulting in 2,047 effect sizes that were analysed with meta-analysis and meta-regression while accounting for data dependencies. Conclusion: Findings support the notion of perfectionism as a transdiagnostic factor by demonstrating that both dimensions are associated with various forms of psychopathology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1301-1326
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


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