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Defensive Mechanisms of Perfectionists

University of Florida Institutional Repository
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022508/00001

Material Information

Title: Defensive Mechanisms of Perfectionists
Physical Description: 1 online resource (65 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Hannah, David
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: concealment, defensiveness, perfectionism, psychology, self
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Psychology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Perfectionism has been extensively researched as a pervasive problem in college students and in counseling. Many of the findings in this research show that perfectionists are less likely to seek counseling, and if they do are highly unlikely to be successful. Several authors have theorized perfectionists' unsuccessful therapy may be due to, among other things, problem areas in self psychological conflicts, defensiveness, self-concealment, and psychological distress. The current study explored multidimensional perfectionism constructs as they relate to these problem areas, and also examines how these areas relate to one another. Results showed that perfectionists do have disrupted selfobject needs, were less likely to be defensive, and results of self-concealment were mixed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by David Hannah.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Rice, Kenneth G.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022508:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022508/00001

Material Information

Title: Defensive Mechanisms of Perfectionists
Physical Description: 1 online resource (65 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Hannah, David
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: concealment, defensiveness, perfectionism, psychology, self
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Psychology thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Perfectionism has been extensively researched as a pervasive problem in college students and in counseling. Many of the findings in this research show that perfectionists are less likely to seek counseling, and if they do are highly unlikely to be successful. Several authors have theorized perfectionists' unsuccessful therapy may be due to, among other things, problem areas in self psychological conflicts, defensiveness, self-concealment, and psychological distress. The current study explored multidimensional perfectionism constructs as they relate to these problem areas, and also examines how these areas relate to one another. Results showed that perfectionists do have disrupted selfobject needs, were less likely to be defensive, and results of self-concealment were mixed.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by David Hannah.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Rice, Kenneth G.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-08-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022508:00001


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DEFENSIVE MECHANISMS OF PERFECTIONISTS


By

DAVID J. HANNAH




















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008


































2008 David J. Hannah


































To Mary Triay, for first introducing me to psychology









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I am thankful to my advisor and committee chair, Dr. Ken Rice, for countless hours of

guidance and encouragement throughout the development of this project and my academic

training. I am also thankful for the help and support of my committee members, Dr. Greg

Neimeyer and Dr. Julie Graber. Finally, I am grateful to Joel Rauzin for his computer

programming skills that allowed for data collection.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ..............................................................................................................4

LIST OF TABLES .................... ......................................................7

ABSTRAC T ........................................................................ 8

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............... .............................. .............. .................. ....... 9

2 L IT E R A TU R E R E V IE W .............................................................................. ................ ..... 13

T he C concept of P erfectionism ................................................................................................13
Psychological Issues of Perfectionism ........................................................... ............... 14
Self Psychology ............................................................... ...... ...... ........ 15
Self Psychology A applied to Perfectionism ..................................... .......................... ......... 18
D efen siv en e ss ............................................................................. 19
Self-C oncealm ent ............................................................... ... .... ......... 19
D defensive M mechanism s............................................................................. ............. 20
C u rrent Stu dy ................................................................................ 2 2
Sum m ary of H ypotheses.............................................................. ......................................2 5

3 M E T H O D .............. .... ...............................................................2 6

P articip an ts .........................................................................2 6
M e a su re s ................... ...................2...................7..........
P ro c e d u re ................... ................... ...................1..........

4 R E SU L T S .............. ... ................................................................32

Descriptive Statistics and Preliminary Analyses ...................................................32
P erfectio n ism ................................................................3 3
S elf P sy ch o lo g y ................................................................................................... ........... 3 4
D e fe n siv e n e ss .................................................................................................................... 3 4
S elf-C on cealm ent .............................................................................3 5
P sy ch o lo g ic al D istre ss ....................................................................................................... 3 5

5 D IS C U S S IO N ........................................................................................................4 0

Im plications of R results ................................................................................................. ........ 45
Limitations and Future Directions ............................................................... ...............46
C onclu sions..... ..........................................................49









APPENDIX

A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE............................................ .......................... 51

B ALMOST PERFECT SCALE REVISED ................................................ .....................52

C SUPERIORITY AND GOAL INSTABILITY SCALES ....................................................53

D M M P I-2 K -S C A L E ............................................. .................................................... .. 54

E DEFENSE STYLES QUESTIONNAIRE.................................... .......................... .......... 55

F SELF-CONCEALMENT SCALE .............................................. ...... ........................ 57

G HOPKINS SYMPTOM CHECKLIST 21 ............................... .................................. 58

H ONLINE INFORMED CONSENT ............................................... ............................. 59

REFERENCE LIST .............. ...... ... ............................... ..........60

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H .............................................................................. .....................65

































6









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1 Sam ple m eans and standard deviations....................................... ........................... 37

4-2 Scale correlations and reliability estimates ............................ .................................... 38

4-3 Sample means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results per group .............................39









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

DEFENSIVE MECHANISMS OF PERFECTIONISTS

By

David J. Hannah

August 2008

Chair: Kenneth G. Rice
Major: Psychology

Perfectionism has been extensively researched as a pervasive problem in college students

and in counseling. Many of the findings in this research show that perfectionists are less likely to

seek counseling, and if they do are highly unlikely to be successful. Several authors have

theorized perfectionists' unsuccessful therapy may be due to, among other things, problem areas

in self psychological conflicts, defensiveness, self-concealment, and psychological distress. The

current study explored multidimensional perfectionism constructs as they relate to these problem

areas, and also examines how these areas relate to one another. Results showed that

perfectionists do have disrupted selfobject needs, were less likely to be defensive, and results of

self-concealment were mixed.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Perfectionism has been a topic of debate in the literature for the past few decades. Early

definitions of the perfectionism construct were based on high standards, but this has expanded

more recently. One of the first models by Hamachek (1978) defined perfectionism as being

either normal or neurotic. Normal perfectionists have high standards but tolerate mistakes,

whereas neurotic perfectionists also have high standards but obsess over mistakes and engage in

overly critical self-evaluations. This was an early model of perfectionism that included a non-

disturbed and even healthy subtype.

Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate (1990) were critical of the idea of a normal

perfectionist and believed that high standards were not sufficient to classify perfectionists. They

created a measure to assess aspects of perfectionism that were related to clinical measures of

psychopathology, many of which included attributes of perfectionism. Later, Hewitt and Flett

(1991b) described perfectionism in terms of being self-oriented, other-oriented and socially-

prescribed. These types of perfectionism were based on the imposition of high standards,

meaning the standards were either imposed on the self, on others, or from others.

Most recently there has been renewed support for a two dimensional model of

perfectionism that includes maladaptive and adaptive perfectionism. Maladaptive perfectionists

have unrealistically high standards and experience excessive self-criticism when failing to meet

those standards. Adaptive perfectionists have set very high standards for themselves, but these

goals are experienced positively and motivationally. This model allows for a person to display

behaviors and feelings consistent with perfectionism, but not necessarily have the negative

psychological consequences of experiencing a discrepancy between standards and actual









performance (Rice & Slaney, 2002; Rice, Ashby, & Slaney, 1998; Slaney, Ashby, & Trippi,

1995).

Problems related to perfectionism manifest in numerous areas of psychological

functioning such as anxiety (Flett & Hewitt, 2004), shame (Ashby, Rice, & Martin, 2006), and

depression (Blatt, 1995). Perfectionists react to these problems in defensive manners, and many

of these defensive maneuvers have been hypothesized to be connected to Kohut's theory of self

psychology. These issues are particularly problematic in the college population and manifest

themselves in therapeutic settings where perfectionists are rarely successful, if they even seek

help in the first place (Blatt, 1995; Nadler, 1983). Self psychology constructs have been

investigated in perfectionists using older models and measures of perfectionism; replication and

extension of earlier work is needed using measures designed to tap adaptive and maladaptive

perfectionism.

Self psychology is based on the development of a cohesive sense of self during

childhood. The core of this theory is based on selfobject needs of grandiosity and idealization

that a child strives to have met through self-expression. Grandiosity needs are very narcissistic,

placing the child as the center of all reality. Idealization is a need to merge with caretaking

figures, usually parents, and be just like them. In normal development, these needs are met

through empathic reflection of self-expression. When attempts at self-expression are

occasionally not properly mirrored, the child then revises his/her concept of self and improves

self-soothing capacities. Therefore, appropriate selfobject frustrations generally result in a

functional, cohesive sense of self (Kohut, 1971; 1977). Problematic development occurs when

selfobject needs are too frequently frustrated and the child may never mature out of grandiosity

and idealization needs (Patton & Sullivan, 1980).









Kohut's self psychology also includes defensive mechanisms that either actively make up

for a defect, or work to conceal it. Making up for a defect is similar to global defensiveness, and

concealing a defect is related to self-concealment. Global defensiveness is defined as a person's

tendency to be guarded or protective, and self-concealment is a person's tendency to actively

conceal potentially negative or distressing personal information. Dickinson and Ashby (2005)

measured ego defenses in perfectionists and found that maladaptive perfectionists tend to utilize

more immature defense styles than adaptive and non-perfectionists. Kawamura and Frost (2004)

found self-concealment to be a significant mediator between perfectionism and psychological

distress. Self-concealment is theorized to be a specific defensive coping mechanism, so global

defensiveness and self-concealment will be measured separately (Cramer, 1991).

The literature surrounding self psychology, defensiveness, and self-concealment, as each

construct relates to perfectionism, needs to be updated and expanded upon. One specific aim of

this study is to conceptually replicate a previous study by Rice and Dellwo (2002) by including

updated measures of perfectionism; results are expected to show that perfectionism may be

associated with frustrated grandiose needs to be admired by idealized figures. Another purpose

of this study is to examine the level of global defensiveness in perfectionists, with the

expectation that perfectionists will be more defensive than non-perfectionists. A study by

Kawamura and Frost (2004) investigated a mediator relationship between maladaptive

perfectionism and self-concealment, so this study will examine the tendency to self-conceal by

both maladaptive and adaptive perfectionists as compared to non-perfectionists; results are

expected to show that both maladaptive and adaptive perfectionists have a significantly higher

tendency to self-conceal than non-perfectionists.









The current study will measure the association between perfectionism and each of the

aforementioned constructs. In a preliminary analysis, the discriminant validity between measures

of defensiveness and self-concealment will be measured. Then, as an extension of the self

psychology literature, perfectionism group differences will be measured on self psychology

constructs using a more contemporary measure of perfectionism than was previously used. Next,

differences in groups of perfectionists will be measured with an assessment of global

defensiveness. Group differences will also be tested with self-concealment as the dependent

variable. Finally, the level of psychological distress among groups will be measured.

Chapter Two provides a more extensive review of the literature of perfectionism, self

psychology, defensiveness, and self-concealment. The conclusion of Chapter Two includes

hypotheses regarding the direction of the relationship perfectionism has to dimensions of self

psychology, psychological defense, self-concealment, and psychological distress. Chapter Three

covers participant recruitment, data collection method, and measures used. Chapter Four reports

on statistical results of the study, and Chapter Five provides interpretation, discussion,

limitations, implications, and conclusions of those results.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

The Concept of Perfectionism

Perfectionism has been mentioned in the literature for a long time, dating back even

before Karen Horney's (1939) important theoretical work, but not until more recently has

perfectionism received specific empirical attention and focus. Traditionally the definition of

perfection was abstract and mostly related to having high standards. Hamachek (1978) defined

two dimensions of perfectionism that he called "normal" and "neurotic." Normal perfectionists

have high standards but are able to tolerate non-perfection in most contexts. Neurotic

perfectionists have high standards similar to normal perfectionists, but leave no room for

mistakes and ample room for self-criticism. A neurotic perfectionist is overly concerned with

mistakes, no matter how small, a concern that corresponds to a fear of failure rather than a desire

for achievement.

Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate (1990) argued against the idea of a "normal" form

of perfectionism and believed that the definition of perfectionism still put too much emphasis on

high standards alone. The authors felt the definition was lacking key elements to distinguish a

perfectionist from someone who was simply high achieving, competitive, and successful.

Therefore, Frost et al. (1990) created and found empirical support for their Multidimensional

Perfectionism Scale (MPS). This measure included subscales that tapped into the aspects of

perfectionism closely associated with the more clinical measures of psychopathology. The MPS

subscales include Concern Over Mistakes, Personal Standards, Parental Expectations, Parental

Criticism, Doubts About Actions, and Organization. The MPS was successful at measuring

perfectionism based on a concern over mistakes rather than high standards.









Since Frost et al., there has been increasing evidence supporting similar

conceptualizations of perfectionism as a multidimensional construct. For example, Hewitt and

Flett (1991b) developed a model of self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially-prescribed

perfectionism. Self-oriented perfectionists set unrealistically high standards for their own

performance, other-oriented perfectionists have high standards for the conditions and people

around them, and socially-prescribed perfectionists believe the people in their lives and society

have unrealistically high standards for them. This model of perfectionism was a step in the

direction of understanding the etiology of excessively high standards; however it still seemed

incomplete without defining what constitutes well-adjusted and functioning perfectionists.

Most recently, and consistent with earlier conceptualizations, there has been extensive

support for a two dimensional structure of perfectionism emphasizing maladaptive and adaptive

aspects of the construct (Rice & Slaney, 2002; Rice, Ashby, & Slaney, 1998; Slaney, Ashby, &

Trippi, 1995). Maladaptive perfectionists have unrealistically high standards for performance

with excessively critical self-evaluations and perceived inadequacies in attempting to meet those

standards. Similar to maladaptive perfectionists, adaptive perfectionists have high standards and

persevere to meet them, however these strivings are experienced as encouraging and

motivational rather than distressing.

Psychological Issues of Perfectionism

Perfectionism has been linked to numerous psychological issues, including anxiety (Flett

& Hewitt, 2004), shame (Ashby, Rice, & Martin, 2006), and depression (Blatt, 1995). A large

body of literature has emerged surrounding perfectionism's link to depression, which confirms a

strong, positive relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depression (Blatt, 1995;

Hewitt & Flett, 1991a). Aldea and Rice (2006) found that maladaptive perfectionists demonstrate

more problematic emotional regulation than adaptive perfectionists, and speculated that the









psychological distress of perfectionism could be attributed to affect dysregulation. When faced

with troubles, maladaptive perfectionists have especially negative coping skills compared to

adaptive and non-perfectionists (O'Connor & O'Connor, 2003). Problematic coping could be

another mechanism through which perfectionism affects psychological well-being (Rice &

Lapsley, 2001).

Perfectionism has shown to be an immense problem for college students, especially

among those in counseling (Chandler & Gallagher, 1996). Perfectionism has been found to

manifest in academic problems, depression, anxiety, emotional maladjustment, and other

psychological difficulties (Blatt, 1995; Flett & Hewitt, 2004; Rice & Lapsley, 2001).

Perfectionists in general are less likely to be successful in treatment, but they are also less likely

than non-perfectionists to actually seek assistance for a fear of being seen as a failure (Blatt,

1995; Nadler, 1983). One explanation for unsuccessful treatment may be the low self-esteem

often present with maladaptive perfectionists. Low self-esteem can result in high sensitivity to

perceived critical feedback and might also result in displays of extreme emotional reactivity

(Preusser, Rice, & Ashby, 1994; Rice & Lopez, 2004). The present study is designed to increase

understanding of the factors that impede perfectionists from receiving therapeutic treatment

benefits. The focus will be on defensiveness and self-concealment, concepts embedded in

Kohut's theory of self psychology.

Self Psychology

Self psychology, rooted in psychoanalytic theory, includes thorough attention to defense

mechanisms. In classic psychoanalytic theory, perfectionism has been theorized to work

unconsciously to protect the self from criticism, blame, guilt, and rejection stemming from a

harsh superego demanding perfection and critical of failure (Blatt, 1995; Hamachek, 1978;

Sorotzkin, 1985). The superego may demand perfection, but when perfection cannot be achieved,









strong dissonance is created between the high standards set forth and actual performance (Pacht,

1984). This dissonance is consistent with the definition of maladaptive perfectionism.

Specifically, maladaptive perfectionists are identified as maintaining unreasonably high

standards, and the failure to meet those standards results is excessively harsh self-criticism

(Slaney, Ashby, & Trippi, 1995).

Kohut's theory is based on the development of the "self' during childhood. The self is

considered the core of the personality. At the heart of the self psychology theory is what Kohut

termed selfobject needs. In his earlier work, Kohut expanded selfobject needs into two areas

referred to as grandiose needs and idealization needs. Grandiose needs are very narcissistic, with

the child needing to be the center of the universe. The child lives by implicit thoughts such as, "I

am perfect, I am powerful, I am loved." Idealization needs are related to goal-setting by striving

to "merge" with omnipotent, idealized figures, usually parents. Here the child's experiencing is

similar to thoughts such as, "You are perfect and I will be like you." Both of these needs work

together fluidly to develop the self based on how the needs are met (Kohut, 1971; 1977). In

1984, Kohut expanded his theory of self psychology to include a third, interpersonal dimension

referred to as alter ego need or belongingness, but for the purposes of this study and its emphasis

on intra-personal functioning rather than interpersonal functioning, this additional construct will

not be addressed.

Selfobject needs are met by the empathetic mirroring of attempts at self-expression,

usually provided by parents or caregivers, the idealized figures. However, it is rare that parents

are able to be perfect empathic mirrors at every self-expression event, and this inconsistency

gives the child an opportunity to revise his/her concept of self. This being said, failures at

mirroring can be a normal and positive part of growth when experienced properly (Kohut, 1971;









1977). For example, if a child were to look for the fulfillment of grandiose needs to be perfect,

and the need is not met with proper reflection, she or he may revise the sense of self to be less

narcissistic. On the other hand, if a child's expressions of grandiose needs to be perfect are met

excessively, the child may integrate the idea of being perfect into a concept of self.

In order to be stable and functional, the self needs to be cohesive. At birth, a child has a

primitive sense of self that is grandiose and desires to merge with parenting figures. When

empathic failures occur appropriately, the event serves as an introduction to reality, and

selfobjects change to self-assertiveness and admiration, which are the more adaptive counterparts

of grandiosity and idealization. The self-assertiveness construct is ambitiousness, while

admiration is the ability to perceive the self as separate from others. Should empathetic failures

occur inappropriately, the child may never develop out of grandiosity and idealization needs, or

worse, may regress to very maladaptive traits of shame and painful envy (Patton & Sullivan,

1980). It appears that perfectionists have some disruption in this process that develops a cohesive

self.

Kohut's self psychology theory has been applied to numerous realms of psychology,

ranging from broad areas such as general counseling (Patton & Meara, 1996), to specific foci

like child abuse (Eldridge & Finnican, 1985), the elderly (Lynch, 1988), and group

psychotherapy (Harwood, 1983). Relevant to the current study, Patton and Robbins (1982)

presented the applicability of self psychology to the college student population. They provided a

list of issues presented by college students in therapy that are commonly challenging for their

counselors to address, and demonstrated how each facet of self psychology applies to problems

originating during early development and arising in college-age populations. Several of the

issues pointed out were consistent with concepts relevant to perfectionism, such as, "The student









discloses perverse sexual fantasies or activities in which themes of perfection and domination are

evident" (Patton & Robbins, 1982, p. 877).

Self Psychology Applied to Perfectionism

A study by Rice and Dellwo (2002) investigated how self psychology constructs are

related to perfectionism using the MPS (Frost et al., 1990) and the Superiority and Goal

Instability Scales (Robbins & Patton, 1985). Perfectionism groups were formed on the basis of

subscale scores of the MPS. Specifically, cluster analysis revealed a group labeled adaptive

perfectionists who had relatively high Personal Standards and Organization scores but low scores

on the other MPS subscales. A group of maladaptive perfectionists emerged who had high scores

on all MPS subscales. Maladaptive perfectionists had more goal instability (unmet idealization

needs) than adaptive perfectionists and non-perfectionists, and both types of perfectionists were

equally disrupted in superiority (unmet grandiose self needs) fulfillment compared with non-

perfectionists. These findings suggest that perfectionism may develop from frustrated grandiose

needs to be admired by idealized figures (Rice & Dellwo, 2002).

From the results of Rice and Dellwo (2002) it is important to emphasize that idealization

would seem especially problematic for maladaptive perfectionists. Results have shown that

adaptive and non-perfectionists have a better integrated sense of idealization compared to

maladaptive perfectionists. Both groups of perfectionists displayed more unmet grandiose needs

than non-perfectionists. Rice and Dellwo (2002) interpreted these findings to mean that all

perfectionists have a need for admiration from others, and perfectionism is a result of trying to

cope with insufficient empathetic reflection and inadequate idealized figures. With this

interpretation, maladaptive perfectionism would then originate from unmet grandiose needs and

inadequate idealized figures that model having high standards and suffer psychological

consequences as a result of not meeting them. Adaptive perfectionism would be derived from the









same grandiose needs and idealized figures with similar high standards, but without the adverse

consequences tethered to idealization. Thus, these aspects of self psychology might be factors

predictive of perfectionism (Rice & Dellwo, 2002).

Integrating this theory into the study provides a framework that already consists of

concepts such as perfectionism and defensiveness. In addition, Kohut's theory of self also

includes an explanation for the development of perfectionistic tendencies, which is highly

debated in the current literature. Although the work is entirely theoretical and restricted to a more

psychodynamic viewpoint, this still provides a more direct structure for the concept of

perfectionism.

Defensiveness

Kohut's theory of self psychology also includes defensive constructs labeled

compensatory structures and defensive strategies. Compensatory structures are stable behaviors

that actively make up for a "defect," not just cover it up. Defensive strategies are similar to

compensatory structures, however they focus directly on the defective area in order to conceal it

(Kohut, 1977). An example of a compensatory structure would be general defensiveness to cover

up something psychologically distressing. An example of a defensive strategy would be

purposefully hiding something psychologically distressing from others. Defensive structures

appear to be congruent with an existing construct called self-concealment. Self-concealment is

defined as a tendency to actively hide potentially negative or distressing personal information

from others, including therapists (Larson & Chastain, 1990).

Self-Concealment

Research on self-concealment has shown the construct to be related to many problematic

psychological aspects. In particular, studies have found self-concealment to be associated with

anxiety, depression, shyness, and negative self-esteem (Ichiyama, Colbert, Laramore, Heim,









Carone, & Schmidt, 1993). Self-concealment has also been linked to general psychological

distress and a tendency to avoid psychological treatment (Cepeda-Benito & Short, 1998).

Research involving the functionality of self-concealment has shown the construct to tap aspects

of defensive coping (Ritz & Dahme, 1996). All of these problems associated with self-

concealment are also issues faced by perfectionists, as mentioned earlier.

A recent study by Kawamura and Frost (2004) examined self-concealment as a mediator

between perfectionism and psychological distress. The authors used five subscales from the

Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Concern Over Mistakes, Doubts About Actions, Parental

Criticism, Parental Expectations, and Personal Standards; Frost et al., 1990) to measure

perfectionism, as well as self-reports on self-concealment and of psychological distress. Their

results show self-concealment to be a significant mediator in the relationship between

maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress. The resulting model positioned

perfectionism as related to high levels of psychological distress, with self-concealment

influencing this relationship and being partially responsible for the resulting psychological

distress. This relationship is important because self-concealment is identified as a defensive

mechanism (Cramer, 1991).

Defensive Mechanisms

There are many different defensive coping mechanisms in the literature, and many

different measures aimed at those constructs. Some of these constructs are have been included in

the DSM-IV-TR, and others, such as self-concealment, are more independently validated

(American Psychiatric Association, 2003). For example, a commonly measured form of

defensiveness, known as ego defense, is listed in the DSM-IV-TR. Defenses can further be

grouped as mature, immature, and neurotic, referring to the adaptiveness of each defense. Mature

ego defenses are the most adaptive and include humor, sublimation, and suppression. Immature









ego defenses include more childish mechanisms such as regression, passive aggression, and

acting out. Neurotic ego defenses are the least adaptive, including mechanisms like

displacement, repression, and isolation, and are generally seen in more pathological populations

(Andrews, Singh, & Bond, 1993). Of these three types of ego defenses arranged by adaptiveness,

it would seem possible that different types of perfectionists may employ different styles of

defenses.

In relation to defenses, Dickinson and Ashby (2005) investigated perfectionists' ego

defense styles using the Defense Styles Questionnaire (Andrews et al., 1993). They discovered

that maladaptive perfectionists tend to employ more immature defense styles compared to

adaptive perfectionists and non-perfectionists. The third defense styles construct, neurotic, was

distinctly associated with severe psychopathology but was not found to have any significant

relationship with perfectionism (Dickinson & Ashby, 2005). Discovering that perfectionists have

an ego fixation makes important connections to Kohut's self psychology and the defensive

structures. Dickinson and Ashby (2005) have called for further validation of defensiveness in

perfectionists.

Ego fixation is the consequence of an excessively critical superego that results in overly

harsh self-criticism, meaning the person is exceedingly obsessed with the internal feedback

received (Sorotzkin, 1985). The finding that perfectionists have an ego fixation brings around

full circle the idea that perfectionists may be experiencing frustrated egocentric, grandiose needs.

As hypothesized by Rice and Dellwo (2002) and Dickinson and Ashby (2005), perfectionists

may be having defensive reactions to these frustrated needs, and perfectionism itself may be a

defense mechanism. For instance, if a child's grandiose needs are not met and she/he develops a

narcissistic definition of self, perfectionism could be the mechanism to defend and maintain that









grandiose identity. Defensiveness is a multifaceted construct and clearly one that is difficult

define. Some of the definitional challenges can be attributed to dense and diverse theoretical

orientations and their explanations of defensiveness. Although theoretical orientations may vary

in their explanation of the function served by defensiveness, most agree on forms that

defensiveness can take. As a result, there has been a trend in the literature towards measuring a

general tendency to be defensive rather than measuring specific mechanisms; several popular and

highly regarded psychological assessment instruments, such as the MMPI-2 (Butcher et al.,

1989), address defensiveness in this more general manner (Cramer, 1991).

Current Study

An established theory that can be applied to the development of perfectionistic tendencies

and associated defensiveness is Kohut's self psychology. This theory includes two types of

defensiveness, one that is defensive of the self and one that conceals something psychologically

distressing from the self and others. Previous studies have examined specific mechanisms of

defensiveness in perfectionists, such as ego defenses, but none have investigated a general

tendency to be defensive. The present study examined the association between perfectionism and

different forms of defensiveness, and also attempted to replicate earlier findings regarding the

link between perfectionism and self psychology dimensions.

Rice and Dellwo (2002) examined Kohut's self psychology constructs in perfectionists

using the MPS (Frost et al., 1990) and found that maladaptive perfectionists were the least well-

adjusted. As a conceptual replication of Rice and Dellwo (2002), a new and refined method for

the classification of perfectionists was used to identify maladaptive, adaptive, and non-

perfectionists. These groups were measured on key self psychology variables derived from the

Superiority and Goal Instability Scales, namely grandiosity and idealization. The primary

hypothesis was that results were expected to be consistent with Rice and Dellwo's findings and









should further support the application of Kohut's theory to perfectionists. Specifically, it was

expected that maladaptive perfectionists would present more goal instability than adaptive and

non-perfectionists, and both types of perfectionists would have distressed superiority needs when

compared with non-perfectionists.

Defensive aspects of perfectionism were also examined. Dickinson and Ashby (2005)

investigated defense styles based on the Defense Styles Questionnaire (Andrews et al., 1993),

which assesses specific ego defenses. The results of their study make important ties to frustrated

self psychological needs in perfectionists. Their findings also revealed that maladaptive

perfectionists have a tendency to use immature types of ego defense mechanisms more than other

types of defenses; unfortunately they did not assess a global tendency to be defensive, only

specific ego defenses. In a more global assessment of defensiveness, the K-Scale of the MMPI-2

(Butcher et al., 1989) was used to measure perfectionists' tendencies to be defensive. It was

expected that maladaptive perfectionists would have generally higher K-Scale scores than

adaptive and non-perfectionists, which would indicate problematic defensiveness.

Kohut's theory of self psychology includes defensive strategies that conceal a "defect,"

which was hypothesized to relate to self-concealment. Kawamura and Frost (2004) examined

self-concealment in perfectionists with maladaptive qualities and found a mediator relationship

between perfectionism and psychological distress. The current study explored how self-

concealment extends to adaptive perfectionists, as well as to maladaptive and non-perfectionists.

Results were expected to show that both maladaptive and adaptive perfectionists would have

equally high tendencies to self-conceal, which would be significantly greater than non-

perfectionists. Adaptive perfectionists were hypothesized to have a tendency to self-conceal

similar to maladaptive perfectionists because research has shown that both types of perfectionists









are motivated by recognition of performance and are highly perceptive of performance relative to

others (Mills & Blankstein, 2000).

All of the constructs previously mentioned generally accompany, or are accompanied by,

some degree of psychological distress. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (Green, Walkey,

McCormick, & Taylor, 1988) is a well supported measure of psychological distress and can

provide data to support the notion of heightened distress with the presence of perfectionism and

defensiveness. Consistent with previous research, it was expected that those who score in the

more maladaptive range with perfectionistic tendencies, defensiveness, self-concealment, and

disrupted selfobject needs will have a higher level of psychological distress (Aldea & Rice,

2006). More specifically, it was anticipated that maladaptive perfectionists would report the

highest levels of psychological distress, followed by non-perfectionists, and adaptive

perfectionists having the lowest distress. This would also allow for another look into the

relationship between self-concealment and psychological distress as investigated by Kawamura

and Frost (2004).

A possible confound in this study was that, although conceptually distinct, the proposed

measures self-concealment (Self-Concealment Scale; Larson & Chastain, 1990) and general

defensiveness (MMPI-2 K-Scale; Butcher et al., 1989) may not yield psychometrically distinct

scores, an idea which has not yet been empirically explored. As a preliminary analysis, this study

investigated the discriminant validity of the scores derived from these two questionnaires. It was

expected that the two scores would in fact measure separate constructs. Ritz and Dahme (1996)

explored the SCS as a measure of defensive coping and found it to tap a specific aspect of

defensiveness, but they did not address the possibility that it might also represent a global

measure of defensiveness. Whereas other measures similarly tap specific aspects of









defensiveness, such as the Defensive Styles Questionnaire measuring ego defense, the K-Scale

has been hypothesized to work as a measure of global defensiveness. Therefore, it is important to

ensure that the Self-Concealment Scale and the K-Scale are not measuring the same construct.

Summary of Hypotheses

To summarize the theoretical direction of this study, the following list includes each

research question and its associated hypothesis:

1) Is the Self-Concealment Scale psychometrically distinct from the MMPI-2 K-Scale? I
expected to find evidence for discriminant validity in the direction that the two scales are
measuring different constructs.

2) How do new measures of perfectionism relate to self psychology constructs? I expected to
find that maladaptive perfectionists have more goal instability than adaptive and non-
perfectionists, and that both types of perfectionists have comparable degrees of disrupted
superiority development compared with non-perfectionists.

3) How strong is the tendency for perfectionists to be defensive? I expected that maladaptive
perfectionists would display more problematic defensiveness than adaptive and non-
perfectionists.

4) How strong is the tendency for perfectionists to self-conceal? I expected that both adaptive
and maladaptive perfectionists would have a higher tendency to self-conceal compared to
non-perfectionists.

5) How distressed are perfectionists? I expected to find that the most maladaptive and
defensive perfectionists would report the most psychological distress, followed by adaptive
perfectionists, and lastly non-perfectionists.









CHAPTER 3
METHOD

Participants

Participants were 304 college students at a large southeastern university and were

recruited from multiple sections of an undergraduate general psychology course. Information

about the study was posted for students in the psychology research pool, where students are

expected to participant in research or complete an alternate activity as required by the course.

General psychology is a foundation-level course that includes students from a variety of majors.

Participants completed the measures online. Seventeen participants were then removed from the

final sample due to incorrectly answering validity items, such as "Please answer this question as

3 Moderately Disagree," that were used to screen for random or careless responding.

Demographic information was collected through a self-report survey (see Appendix A). The final

sample included 287 participants consisting of 124 men (43.2%), 158 women (55.1%), and 5

with missing gender data (1.7%). Participants ranged in age from 18 to 26 (M= 18.95, SD =

1.39). Approximately 55.7% of the sample was White/Euro-American, 12.9% Black/African-

American, 12.2% Latino/a, 11.8% Asian/Asian-American, 5.5% Multiracial/Other 0.7% Pacific

Islander, 0.3% Native American, and 0.7% with missing data. Of the total sample, 151

participants had a grade point average to report, which ranged from 2.0 to 4.0 (M= 3.43, SD =

0.58) based on a scale from 1.0 to 4.0 (participants who did not yet have an official GPA were

asked not to provide an answer).

When examining differences between the participants that were retained for the analyses

(N = 287) and those that were excluded (N =17), the differences are of no consequence. There

were no significant differences between the two groups on any of the measured variables, age, or

Grade Point Average. A significant difference was found between male versus female









participants in the rate of exclusion [X2 (1, N = 294) = 4.47, p < .05]. Of the 17 participants

excluded, 75% were male (N = 9), 25% female (N = 3), and 5 did not provide gender data and

were excluded for the purposes of scoring the K-Scale. There was also a significant difference in

exclusion based on ethnicity [X2 (1, N = 297) = 14.65, p < .05]. Of the excluded participants,

50% were White/Euro-American (N = 6), 25% Black/African-American (N = 3), 16.7%

Asian/Asian-American (N = 2), 8.3% Native American (N = 1) and 5 did not provide data.

Again, these losses due to exclusion criteria were miniscule.

Measures

Perfectionism

The Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R; Slaney, Ashby, & Trippi, 1995; Slaney, Rice,

Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001) will be used to assess dimensions of perfectionism. The APS-R

is a self-report questionnaire consisting of 23 items that participants rate using a 7-point Likert

scale (1 = "strongly disagree" to 7 = "strongly agree"; see Appendix B). The APS-R has three

subscale scores: High Standards (7 items), Discrepancy (12 items), and Order (4 items). Items

are worded as personal attributes, such as, "I am hardly ever satisfied with my performance," and

"I have a strong need to strive for excellence." The High Standards subscale measures the

respondent's standards and expectations for performance. The Discrepancy subscale evaluates

the perception of discrepancy between expectations for performance and self-evaluation of

meeting those standards. The Order subscale assesses a need for organization and structure. The

APS-R subscale scores have demonstrated adequate reliability, with Cronbach's alphas being .85

(High Standards), .92 (Discrepancy), and .86 (Order). Construct validity for the measure has

ranged from .49 to .83 (Rice & Slaney, 2002; Slaney, et al., 2001). The High Standards and

Order subscales differentiate perfectionists from non-perfectionists, and the Discrepancy

subscale taps maladaptive dimensions of perfectionists when combined with very high scores on









High Standards. Perfectionists are grouped based on cutoff scores empirically validated by Rice

and Ashby (2007). Using this method, participants with scores of 42 or higher on the High

Standards subscale are classified as perfectionists, and those with scores lower than 42 are

classified as non-perfectionists. Perfectionists' with scores of 42 or higher on the Discrepancy

subscale are labeled maladaptive perfectionists, and perfectionists with scores below 42 on

Discrepancy are labeled adaptive perfectionists.

Self Psychology

The Superiority and Goal Instability Scales (SGIS; Robbins & Patton, 1985) will be used

to measure self psychology constructs based on unmet selfobject needs. The SGIS contains 20

self-report items that participants respond to using a 6-point Likert scale (1 = "strongly agree" to

6 = "strongly disagree"; see Appendix C). The measure contains two subscales for Superiority

(10 items) and Goal Instability (10 items). Examples of items are "I have confusion about who I

am" and "Running the show means a lot to me." The Superiority scale measures the grandiosity

construct and the Goal Instability scale taps idealization, which as a whole assesses self

psychological needs consistent with Kohut (1971, 1977). Both subscales have demonstrated high

internal consistency with alphas of .81 (Idealization) and .76 (Grandiosity), as well as strong test-

retest reliability over a 2 week interval (r = .76 and r = .80). Both subscales were found to be

independent of each other, have strong construct validity, and adequate convergent validity with

other personality inventories. Reliability and validity measurements were based on college

student samples. The items of this measure are scored in such a way that higher scores are

indicative of a more adaptive self, thus lower scores are used to identify more severe disruptions

in self psychological needs (Robbins & Patton, 1985).









Defensiveness

The MMAPI-2 K-Scale (Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989) is a

measure of defensiveness. The K-Scale was developed to identify persons who attempt to present

themselves in a favorable or unfavorable light. The K-Scale is used in the context of the full

MMPI-2 as a correction for defensiveness, similar to a covariate; however, there is evidence that

the K-Scale can be used separately as a global assessment of defensiveness in a non-pathological

population (Graham, 2006). The scale includes 30 items rated as "True" or "False," where higher

scores on the K-Scale are associated with more defensiveness in both pathological and non-

pathological populations (see Appendix D). The KR-20 internal consistency for this scale is .74

for men and .72 for women (Butcher et al., 1989). Several studies have been conducted to

establish the content and construct validity through eliciting responses that activate the MMPI-2

defensiveness scales (Graham, Watts, & Timbrook, 1991; Wetter, Baer, Berry, Robison, &

Sumpter, 1993; Lim & Butcher, 1996). The K-Scale includes items that, when answered false,

are indicative of defensiveness and are reverse-scored to reflect this.

The Defense Style Questionnaire -40 (DSQ-40; Andrews, Singh, & Bond, 1993) is a

measure of 20 defense mechanisms consistent with those in the DSM-IV-TR (American

Psychiatric Association, 2003). These defense styles are grouped as mature (sublimation,

suppression, anticipation, altruism, and humor), immature (projection, passive aggression, acting

out, fantasy, hypochondriasis, and dissociation), and neurotic (displacement, repression,

isolation, and reaction formation). The DSQ-40 is a more concise and refined version of the

original 88-item instrument developed by Bond, Gardner, Christian, and Sigal (1983). Items are

answered on a Likert scale ranging from 1 ("strongly disagree") to 9 ("strongly agree") based on

personal agreement with the statement; an example would be "I am able to laugh at myself pretty









easily" (see Appendix E). Cronbach's alphas for the three defense styles have been demonstrated

at .68 (mature), .58 (neurotic), and .80 (immature), which are borderline on being inadequate and

should be considered with caution.

Self-Concealment

The Self-Concealment Scale (SCS; Larson & Chastain, 1990) measures a person's

tendency to self-conceal potentially distressing or negative personal information. The SCS is a

10-item self-report questionnaire rated using a 5-point Likert scale (1 = "strongly disagree" to 5

= "strongly agree"; see Appendix F) with higher scores indicating higher levels of self-

concealment. Examples of items are, "When something bad happens to me, I tend to keep it to

myself," and "My secrets are too embarrassing to share with others." Larson and Chastain (1990)

found the internal consistency of the measure to have a Cronbach's coefficient alpha of .83, as

well as good retest reliability (r = .74). Kawamura and Frost (2004) measured reliability to be

.90. The measure has demonstrated adequate construct validity as well as adequate discriminant

validity from constructs such as self-disclosure, depression, anxiety, and other psychological

issues. The measures of internal consistency and validity from both Larson and Chastain (1990)

and Kawamura and Frost (2004) were based on samples of college students. This measure is

statistically distinct from self-disclosure.

Psychological Distress

The Hopkins Symptom Checklist 21 (HSCL-21; Green, Walkey, McCormick, & Taylor,

1988) is a 21-item, self-report measure of psychological distress. The HSCL-21 is a condensed

version of the original 58-item measure which included three subscales: General Feelings of

Distress, Somatic Distress, and Performance Difficulty. The HSCL-21 was constructed from the

seven strongest items from each subscale, and has shown to be valid and reliable. Previous









studies have found strong reliability for the HSCL-21 with a reliability coefficient of .89

(Kawamura & Frost, 2004). Consistent with previous research and the specific interest of this

study, the overall score of this measure was used in the statistical analysis and not the individual

subscales. Items are rated on a 4-point Likert scale (1 = "Not at all" to 4 = "Extremely"; see

Appendix G) based on recent personal experiences, with higher scores related to higher levels of

psychological distress. Examples of items include "Feeling inferior to others" and "Blaming

yourself for things."

Procedure

Recruited participants were given an online informed consent form (see Appendix H)

describing the nature of the study as research on personality characteristics. All consenting

participants were shown a set of questionnaires including the APS-R, SGIS, MMPI-2 K-Scale,

and SCS measures, as well as questions about general demographic information. Throughout the

survey were items such as "Do not answer this question" to maintain validity checks on the

integrity of responses. To control for sequencing effects, the order of questionnaire presentation

was randomized and recorded, but the demographic questions always appeared last in the

sequence. The combinations of measures resulted in an even distribution of 24 different

sequences, each sequence being comparably represented, and no sequence appearing more than

four times across all participants. Participants completing the questionnaires were awarded extra

credit or research credits as per their course enrollment.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Descriptive Statistics and Preliminary Analyses

Table 4-1 displays the range of scores, means, and standard deviations for the individual

scale scores. When compared to other research, the means and standard deviations obtained from

these participants were nearly identical, with the exception of the DSQ scores which were all

lower on average. Table 4-2 includes correlations among all measures and subscales, as well as

internal consistency coefficients for each measure. The internal consistencies reported in this

study were comparable to what previous research has shown, with the exception of the MMPI-2

K-Scale which was considerably lower than initially found by Butcher et al. (1989).

Perfectionists were grouped based on the cutoff scores validated by Rice and Ashby

(2007). This method resulted in groupings of 78 maladaptive (27.2%), 81 adaptive (28.2%), and

128 non-perfectionist (44.6%) participants. The demographic compositions of each group were

close representations of the sample as a whole (see Participants section). Table 4-1 displays the

range of scores, means, and standard deviations for each scale and subscale based on

perfectionism grouping.

It was hypothesized that the measure of self-concealment (SCS) would be

psychometrically distinct from defensiveness (MMPI-2 K-Scale). As a preliminary analysis, the

discriminant validity between the SCS and MMPI-2 K-Scale was assessed by correlating scale

scores and calculating a 95% confidence interval for that correlation. The two measures were

significantly negatively correlated (r = -.40, p < .001) in a direction and strength that must be

cautiously considered when interpreting the results. However, the 95% confidence interval (.30

to .49) revealed no substantial concern about the discriminant validity of the scores.









The data fell within the accepted guidelines for normality assumptions, except for HSCL,

Idealization, K-Scale, and High Standards scores. Following recommendations of Tabachnick

and Fidell (2001), the deviations from normality were corrected through square root and

reflected square root transformations, and those transformed scores were then used in the

analyses below. Comparing the findings between analyses of transformed and original raw

scores revealed no differences in conclusions derived from F-test results; however, post hoc

results became more defined and a few more comparisons were significant as a result of the

transformations. All data displayed in the tables is based on the raw, non-transformed scores,

except for the post hoc analyses as necessary. Using multiple ANOVAs causes extra concern for

Type I error, so a Bonferroni alpha adjustment was used to address this concern. Homogeneity of

variance assumptions were met for all analyses, so Bonferroni post hoc analyses were conducted

and effect sizes were reported based on the commonly accepted Cohen' s statistic guidelines

(Cohen, 1988). A summary of the sample means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results can

be found in Table 4-3. Post hoc results are recorded in the table via subscript coding.

Perfectionism

The APS-R cutoff scores used by Rice and Ashby (2007) were confirmed in this study by

examining group differences among the three subscales. The analyses showed significant group

differences with the Discrepancy [F (2, 286) = 121.83,p < .001], High Standards [F (2, 286) =

343.46, p < .001], and Order [F (2, 286) = 16.38, p < .001] subscales. Each subscale was found

to have a relatively high effect size, = 1.01,J = 1.35,f = .32 respectively. Post hoc analyses

supported the group divisions based on the subscales with maladaptive perfectionists scoring

highest on Discrepancy, adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists being equally elevated on High

Standards and Order, and non-perfectionists with the lowest endorsement of subscales (p < .001).









Self Psychology

To assess group differences between perfectionists and non-perfectionists on self

psychological needs scores, separate one-way Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) were conducted

with SGIS subscale scores as the dependent variables. Results showed significant differences

between perfectionist groupings on both the Idealization [F (2, 286) = 28.77, p < .001] and

Superiority [F (2, 286) = 3.61, p < .05] scales. There was a large effect found for Idealization (f

= .46), but a small to medium effect size for Superiority (f = .16). It is important to note that the

SGIS is scored in the direction where lower scores represent a more maladjusted self. The post

hoc analysis showed that maladaptive and non-perfectionists scored significantly lower on

Idealization than adaptive (p <.001) and non-perfectionists (p <.001). Maladaptive perfectionists

scored significantly lower than non-perfectionists (p < .05) on Superiority.

Defensiveness

To measure perfectionist group differences in global defensiveness, an ANOVA with

MMPI-2 K-Scale scores as the dependent variable was conducted. Scores on this measure were

converted into gender-based T-scores prior to analysis. The analysis shows a significant

difference between perfectionists on defensiveness, F (2, 286) = 13.87,p < .001. The effect size

for global defensiveness was moderate (f = .33). Post hoc results showed that maladaptive

perfectionists were generally less defensive than both adaptive (p < .001) and non-perfectionists

(p < .001); however, there were no significant findings differentiating adaptive from non-

perfectionists on global defensiveness.

T-scores on defensiveness ranged from a minimum of 30 to a maximum of 79, with a

mean score of 45.6. According to Graham (2006), T-scores on the K-scale equal to or greater

than 65 are the most problematic and indicate defensiveness in nonclinical populations. The

results of this study showed that 4 adaptive and 4 non-perfectionists scored in this range, whereas









all maladaptive perfectionists scored between 30 and 56. It is important to note that on the

MMPI-2, T-scores above 80 are considered extreme and can potentially invalidate a profile; this

particular cut-off was not reached by any participant.

Defense mechanisms used by participants in the different perfectionist groupings were

evaluated with ANOVAs, with DSQ subscale scores as the dependent variable. Results showed

significant differences among perfectionists on the three defense style groupings as well as 11 of

the 20 specific defense mechanisms. Significant differences were found among the groups on

mature [F (2, 286) = 3.69, p < .05], immature [F (2, 286) = 15.62, p < .001], and neurotic [F (2,

286) = 6.09, p < .01] defense styles. The effect size found for the defense style groupings were

small for mature ( = .16), medium-large for immature ( = .36), and medium for neurotic ( =

.22). More specifically, the post hoc analyses showed that adaptive perfectionists employ more

mature defenses (p < .001) whereas maladaptive perfectionists tend to have more neurotic

defenses (p < .01).

Self-Concealment

Group differences on self-concealment were analyzed using an ANOVA with SCS total

score as the dependent variable. There was a significant difference among perfectionist

groupings on self-concealment, F (2, 286) = 11.41, p < .001. A medium effect size was found for

self-concealment (f = .30). The post hoc analysis showed that adaptive perfectionists scored

significantly lower than maladaptive (p < .001) and non-perfectionists (p < .001). There were no

significant differences between maladaptive and non-perfectionists.

Psychological Distress

Differences between perfectionists and non-perfectionists in psychological distress were

tested using an ANOVA with the total score of the HSCL as the dependent variable. There were

significant differences found among perfectionist groupings on scores of overall psychological









distress, F (2, 286) = 14.60,p < .001. A large effect size was found for the overall level of

psychological distress (f = .35). The post hoc analysis found that maladaptive perfectionists

reported significantly higher levels of overall distress than adaptive and non-perfectionists (p <

.01). With the normalized data there was a difference between adaptive and non-perfectionists on

distress that just meets the criteria for significance, suggesting that adaptive perfectionists

experience less distress than non-perfectionists (p = .05).









Table 4-1. Sample means and standard deviations
Measure Min. Max. M SD
High Standards 20 49 41.37 6.17
Discrepancy 14 84 43.74 14.27
Order 6 28 20.11 5.06
Goal Instability 0 60 38.93 9.23
Superiority 0 50 31.44 7.07
K-Scale T-Score 30 79 45.62 8.69
Mature 18 68 44.72 8.52
Immature 32 165 97.80 19.63
Neurotic 8 64 39.69 9.20
SCS 0 48 27.18 8.57
HSCL 21 80 37.87 8.66
Note: HSCL = Hopkins Symptom Checklist-21, SCS = Self-Concealment Scale









Table 4-2. Scale correlations and reliability estimates
Measure 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
1. High Standards .87
2. Discrepancy .03 .93
3. Order .38** .02 .89
4. Goal Instability .37** -.49** .27** .85
5. Superiority -.10 -.04 -.07 .07 .77
6. K-Scale T-Score -.11 -.45** .00 .31** .09 .64
7. Mature .19** -.15 .13 .20** -.05 .13 .62
8. Immature -.10 .44** -.12 -.47** -.25** -.47** .01 .75
9. Neurotic .14 .18* .18* -.05 -.07 -.12 .34** .29** .58
10. SCS -.131 .37** -.13 -.35** -.01 -.40** -.12 .34** .04 .87
11. HSCL -.04 .48** .04 -.45** -.06 -.44** -.20** .42** .26** .43** .86


Note: HSCL =
diagonal. p <


Hopkins Symptom Checklist-21, SCS = Self-Concealment Scale. Cronbach's coefficient alphas appear in italics on the
.01. ** <.001.









Table 4-3. Sample means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results per group
Maladaptive Adaptive Non-
Perfectionists Perfectionists Perfectionists
Measure M SD M SD M SD F(2, 286) /
High Standards 46.09 a 2.23 45.72 a 2.06 35.75 b 4.74 343.46*** 1.35
Discrepancy 57.13 a 11.63 31.12 c 6.63 43.55 b 11.70 121.83*** 1.01
Order 22.04 a 4.52 21.02 a 5.18 18.34 b 4.72 16.38*** .32
Goal Instability 36.77b 9.60 44.94 a 6.14 36.45 b 8.95 28.77*** .46
Superiority 29.82 b 7.34 31.30 7.14 32.52 a 6.71 3.61* .16
K-Scale T-Score 41.60 b 7.26 48.16 a 8.30 46.45 a 8.94 13.87*** .33
Mature 44.87 9.26 46.65 a 8.64 43.41 b 7.77 3.69* .16
Immature 103.72 a 19.96 88.23 b 16.57 100.26 a 19.16 15.62*** .36
Neurotic 42.73 a 10.30 38.31 b 8.79 38.72 b 8.36 6.09** .22
SCS 29.13 a 8.24 23.49b 8.09 28.32 a 8.42 11.41*** .30
HSCL 41.74a 9.45 34.72 c 7.37 37.50 b 8.06 14.60*** .35
Note: HSCL = Hopkins Symptom Checklist-21, SCS = Self-Concealment Scale. Means that were significantly different based on
Bonferroni and Games-Howell post hoc analyses are indicated by different lettered subscripts. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The purpose of this study was to investigate defensive mechanisms utilized by different

types of perfectionists. Previous research has shown that perfectionists have a general tendency

to be defensive, however with only one aspect of defensiveness being measured, the authors

called for further validation and exploration of the construct (Dickinson & Ashby, 2005). The

main goal of the present study was to determine differences between types of perfectionists,

compared to non-perfectionists, across different conceptualizations of defensiveness. This study

also investigated the relationship between perfectionism and a theory of self which may provide

a strong interpretative background for the role of defensiveness. For the purposes of

interpretation, it is important to note that the non-perfectionist comparison group does not act as

a control group of "normal" participants; they are grouped by simply not reporting high personal

performance expectations and may be psychologically distressed in other ways.

Regarding self psychology constructs, it was hypothesized that a newer measure of

perfectionism would yield results similar to the previous study, maladaptive perfectionists would

show more goal instability, and that both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists would have

more superiority disruptions than non-perfectionists. This hypothesis was partially upheld with

the results revealing that adaptive perfectionists endorse significantly less goal instability

compared to maladaptive and non-perfectionists; however this study did not find a significant

difference between maladaptive and non-perfectionists on this subscale. This finding

demonstrates that maladaptive perfectionists have more unmet idealization needs and thus are

less adaptively adjusted to this construct than adaptive perfectionists, which is consistent with the

findings of Rice and Dellwo (2002) and provides support for their findings with a newer measure









of perfectionism. In addition, the results show that adaptive perfectionists are actually the most

well-adjusted with this aspect of self psychology.

The current study also found that maladaptive perfectionists were significantly more

disrupted on superiority needs than non-perfectionists. In contrast to Rice and Dellwo (2002), no

significant difference in superiority needs was found regarding adaptive perfectionists, although

the trends do suggest superiority disruption similar to maladaptive perfectionists. When

examining the descriptive statistics for the subscales (see Table 4-1), again it can be seen that the

mean scores of both maladaptive and adaptive perfectionists are lower than non-perfectionists,

however this difference is not significant. This would point to perfectionists being more

disturbed in their selfobject needs, but this conclusion is not statistically upheld.

According to Robbins and Patton (1985), the higher scores on the Goal Instability

subscale obtained from adaptive perfectionists suggests that they have a stronger sense of self-

esteem than maladaptive and non-perfectionists, which is strengthened by creating attainable

goals inspired by idealized figures. Conversely, this may suggest that maladaptive and non-

perfectionists do not have this sort of attachment to an ideal figure, have little direction for

meeting goals, and possibly have a fear of committing to longer-term goals. The pattern of lower

scores on the Superiority subscale from maladaptive perfectionists show they can become

wrapped up in fantasies of grandiosity and fail to meet their standards, whereas adaptive and

non-perfectionists have better self-esteem which may even be strengthened by meeting their

standards. These interpretations are mostly relevant for adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists

because their high standards are excessively difficult to reach, compared to non-perfectionists

who create more reasonable standards for themselves.









The DSQ was used as a measure of defensiveness, specifically ego defenses. Although

the scale measures 20 different defense mechanisms, the three main classifications of style were

most important for this study. The research hypothesis stated that maladaptive perfectionists will

display more problematic defensiveness than adaptive or non-perfectionists. Consistent with this

hypothesis, results showed that maladaptive perfectionists endorsed using more neurotic and

immature defense styles, whereas adaptive perfectionists were more prone to mature styles.

Dickinson and Ashby (2005) found similar results, however they did not find a relationship

between neurotic defense styles and maladaptive perfectionism. The additional finding in the

current study may actually be confirming of the negative qualities of maladaptive perfectionism,

as the neurotic defense style is generally associated with psychopathology.

Finding that maladaptive perfectionists tend to employ the most immature and neurotic

defenses on the DSQ seems consistent with Kohut's self psychology framework in that

perfectionistic tendencies may begin from conditions early on in life in which problematic

parent-child dynamics set the stage for the development of problematic neurotic and immature

defensive structures. These defenses, in turn, likely have a resounding effect on the person's

approach to life, including the role they may play in the initiation and then management of

maladaptive perfectionism. In other words, maladaptive perfectionism may develop from unmet

and frustrated empathic needs during early childhood, these unmet needs trigger concerns about

performance and critical self-evaluation (never feeling good-enough or worthy-enough for

adequate parental responsiveness), which in turn prompt the development of largely tenuous and

barely effectual defenses. Perhaps these defenses help explain the susceptibility maladaptive

perfectionists have to psychological distress.









Interestingly, and at first blush, seemingly contradicting inferences made above, results

based on the MMPI-2 K-Scale scores showed that maladaptive perfectionists were significantly

less likely to be defensive than adaptive and non-perfectionists. No other significant differences

were found to suggest a hierarchical structure of defensiveness between the groups. Considering

the nature of maladaptive perfectionism, results were expected to show that this type of

perfectionist would have more defensive tendencies than adaptive or non-perfectionists. Since

this finding is not consistent with the other measures of defensiveness in this study, further

research needs to be conducted to investigate the relationship between different conceptions and

degrees of defensiveness.

With regards to the measures of defensiveness used in this study, it is important to note

the correlations between the measures (see Table 4-2). It appears that the MMPI-2 K-Scale did

not relate to the other variables in this study in the same directional as the other measures of

defensiveness, especially the Self-Concealment Scale. According to research on the MMPI-2

cited by Graham (2006), there is the potential that the K-Scale may be a reflection of more

positive characteristics such as psychological resiliency or ego strength. Related to this

interpretation, there is the potential that the K-Scale was not a good measurement for a global

defensiveness construct when taken out of the full MMPI-2 context. In terms of this research,

Graham's (2006) alternative interpretation of the K-Scale would provide further evidence for the

adaptive style of perfectionism that is under debate in the literature.

As another form of potential defensiveness, the tendency to self-conceal negative

information was also measured using the SCS. Consistent with the defensiveness prediction, it

was hypothesized that both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists would have a stronger

tendency to self-conceal than non-perfectionists. Results showed that adaptive perfectionists









were less likely to conceal information than maladaptive and non-perfectionists. No significant

difference between maladaptive and non-perfectionists was found, however the trend suggests

that maladaptive perfectionists may self-conceal the most. The mediator model used by

Kawamura and Frost (2004) focused only on maladaptive perfectionists, and the results from this

study support that decision. Although no empirical conclusions can be made comparing

maladaptive to average non-perfectionists on their tendencies to self-conceal distressing

information, the results at least show that maladaptive perfectionists self-conceal more often than

adaptive perfectionists. This information appears to be consistent with the concurrent finding that

maladaptive perfectionists utilize more immature and neurotic defense styles.

Another explanation for the results obtained about defensiveness may be that adaptive

perfectionists prefer to be more open about their failures and levels of distress. By disclosing this

information, they are much more likely to receive feedback about self-criticisms and a "reality

check" that allows them to readjust their personal standards for performance. In contrast,

maladaptive perfectionists may take less of a globally defensive approach to life, but when they

do become defensive, they tend to use more immature defense styles such as self-concealment

and never receive feedback about their performance and self-criticisms. It is also important to

note the perplexity of maladaptive perfectionists reporting more immature, neurotic, and self-

concealing defenses, yet they scored lower on global defensive tendencies. This combination of

results may mean that although maladaptive perfectionists have more maladaptive defenses, they

are less likely to use them; however this could also be an indication that the MMPI-2 K-Scale is

not an appropriate measure for this application.

Considering the type of constructs researched in this study, it was hypothesized that

maladaptive perfectionists would report higher levels of psychological distress than adaptive and









non-perfectionists. The result showed this to be an accurate prediction and provides continued

support for the notion that perfectionistic qualities can contain psychologically disruptive

components. The finding that maladaptive perfectionists have more feelings of distress and

ruminate over performance issues is confirming that these are concerns at the core of more

maladaptive perfectionism, and adaptive perfectionism to a lesser degree.

Implications of Results

Results of this study have provided further empirical support for the roles of

defensiveness and self-concealment in perfectionism. The results show that maladaptive

perfectionists employ defenses that are immature and neurotic, which is more aligned with the

maladaptive qualities of maladaptive perfectionism. The MMPI-2 K-Scale shows maladaptive

perfectionists being less defensive than adaptive and non-perfectionists, however this is likely

unrelated to the aforementioned defense styles. Although maladaptive perfectionists have a lesser

tendency towards global defensiveness, they are also actually more likely to self-conceal

potentially distressing personal information. Relevant to clinical settings, these qualities may

help explain why maladaptive perfectionists are less successful with psychotherapy since they

are not inclined to disclose their distress, as well as employ immature and neurotic defenses

when challenged. With such a strong denial of issues relevant to perfectionism, it is more

apparent as to why maladaptive perfectionists rarely initiate therapy for these concerns (Blatt,

1995).

With further support for the relationship between perfectionism and self psychology

constructs, it may be important for a therapist in a counseling setting to dedicate some focus to

childhood relationships and interactions. It would appear that maladaptive perfectionists in

particular have the most disrupted selfobject needs, which as previously mentioned is related to

unmet empathic needs. Based on an article about applying self psychology to counseling, a









therapist then could concentrate on providing a therapeutic environment that is more sensitive to

offering a corrective experience with empathic reflection, unconditional positive regard for those

needs, and a focus on the defensive strategies and compensatory structures that defend the

"defective" area (Patton & Robbins, 1982).

Limitations and Future Directions

A main limitation of this study is the generalizability of results to non-student

populations. All participants were college students, and the demographics were not entirely

representative of the general population; however, these results may be very applicable to other

college students. As previously mentioned, the non-perfectionist grouping may contain

participants that are psychologically distressed, just not in the realm of perfectionistic standards.

Considering the unknown factors involved with this group, and the appearance of high

Discrepancy scores on the APS-R, it may be important to investigate and describe this group

more accurately rather than assume non-perfectionists serve as a healthy comparison group.

Models of perfectionism are based on data from mostly White/Euro-American men and

women; however, perfectionism as a construct has been translated across cultures without much

cultural conflict with its conceptualization. The cross-cultural validity of perfectionism has been

extended to African-American (Mobley, Slaney, & Rice, 2005), Asian-American (Chang, 1998),

Japanese (Sumi & Kanda, 2002), and Asian-Indian students (Slaney, Chadha, Mobley, &

Kennedy, 2000). In most studies on the multicultural applicability of perfectionism, differences

were found in each culture's idea of the construct, namely what is important within that culture

to be worthy of perfection. For example, Slaney et al. (2000) found that within the Asian-Indian

culture, perfectionism is interpreted relative to beliefs of karma, reincarnation, and nirvana.

These studies have demonstrated that current measures of perfectionism allow for an open









interpretation of "perfectionism" as it relates to the individual's values and are not restricted to

academic performance.

As a psychodynamic theory, self psychology has limited applicability across cultures.

Kohut's theory is based more on Western culture and philosophy, so the idea of"self" may not

translate well or similarly to other cultures. The literature has shown this is particularly true of

collectivist societies where any focus on the self is undesirable and only accentuates social

isolation (Kozuki & Kennedy, 2004; Kitayama, 1992). Items on the SGIS measure of self

psychological constructs do not appear to be outwardly culturally biased; however the questions

are self-focused, which may be problematic for less individualistic respondents. It will be

necessary to determine the cultural relevancy of psychodynamic theory, self psychology theory,

and the SGIS questionnaire in future studies. One direction to consider is a shift towards identity

and cultural identity development. Humans are cultural beings, so the area of cultural identity

development may be more appropriate and is important to investigate as it relates to

perfectionism and self psychology. It is also important to note that Kohut's conception of self

psychology is strictly a theoretical foundation for this study because of the interconnections

between perfectionism, defensiveness, and psychological distress that are built into the theory.

While this relationship is very convenient for this study, the theory of self psychology itself still

needs more empirical support in order to draw developmental conclusions about perfectionism.

The Defense Styles Questionnaire is a measure of ego defense styles, which has roots in

psychodynamic theory. As previously mentioned, this limits the cross-cultural applicability of

this construct. However, an assessment of defensiveness from the MMPI-2 has been shown to be

valid across different cultures (Butcher, 2004). Although no similar research has been conducted

with self-concealment, this construct has a close relationship to other types of global









defensiveness that have demonstrated cross-cultural validity such as social desirability (Ghei,

1973). The cultural relevancy of defensiveness and self-concealment still needs to be determined.

The DSQ, MMPI-2 K-Scale, and SCS are all measures of different types of defensiveness,

which was reflected with consistent results about the more disruptive defenses of maladaptive

perfectionists. However, it was found that maladaptive perfectionists actually scored lower on

the global measure of defensiveness, even though they were shown to have more immature

styles. One explanation could be that maladaptive perfectionists do in fact have more

maladaptive defense styles, but they do not utilize them very often. It is also important to

consider that this combination of measures may not be the most appropriate to assess these

constructs, which future studies will need to investigate.

The measures used in this study provide interesting associations between dependent

variable scores and perfectionism categories, however they do not provide clear clinical

guidance. For example, higher scores on the Self-Concealment Scale relate to a higher tendency

to conceal negative or distressing information, but there are no guidelines that indicate at what

level of responding self-concealment becomes problematic. The same issue can be applied to the

HSCL, K-Scale (though somewhat clearer interpretive rules exist with MMPI-2 scales overall),

and SGIS. Recognizing this conceptual issue with the measures raises questions about the

limitations of results, but also calls for further research into the psychometric properties and

clinical utility of these scales.

There is also the common limitation associated with using self-report measures which are

open to the possible misinterpretations of participants and regional biases. This study is based on

a correlational design, so the results must be carefully interpreted. The implied direction of

effects in this study is one of several possibilities and limits the ability to draw causal inferences.









For example, the hypothesized direction is that self psychological issues lead to perfectionism

which results in defensiveness and higher psychological distress; however it may also be that self

psychological issues lead to defensiveness and psychological distress which acts as precursors to

perfectionism. Future studies may investigate similar constructs with varying populations and

designs that would help address concerns regarding internal and external validity.

As previously mentioned, the results of this study say more about what type of defenses

perfectionists tend to employ, but the tendency and frequency to use them is unclear. The MMPI-

2 K-Scale may be tapping this dimension but further research needs to be conducted in order to

make this determination. With the knowledge about specific defenses that perfectionists use and

the unexpected finding that more maladaptive perfectionists are actually lower on global

defensiveness, future studies may want to focus on the frequency, intensity, duration, and onset

of those mechanisms. A better understanding for the inner workings of these defenses can come

from attempting to elicit and manipulate defensive responding.

Conclusions

The results of this study have shown continued support for the self psychology constructs

as applied to perfectionism. Although the basis of this psychodynamic framework is

predominantly theoretical, insight into the inner workings and development of perfectionistic

tendencies can still be gained. By adding in the concurrent finding that maladaptive

perfectionists are more psychologically distressed, we can see that there is certainly some form

of disruption in their lives that needs to be studied and addressed.

Embedded into Kohut's self psychology theory are aspects of defensiveness that map on

well to the more maladaptive qualities of perfectionism. When these constructs are measured

across the different groupings of perfectionists we see that perfectionists, specifically

maladaptive perfectionists, are inclined to employ these problematic defenses. The degree and









frequency of which these are actually utilized is still unclear and requires a closer look. As

researchers and clinicians we are taking steps towards a fuller understanding of perfectionism,

but there is still a lot to learn about the development of the issue and what barriers need to be

broken down for successful treatment.









APPENDIX A
DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE

1. Please circle the number next to your gender:
(1) MALE
(2) FEMALE
2. How old are you? years
3. Please circle the number next to your Race/Ethnicity or please describe the specific group that
you identify with the most in the blank next to your ethnicity (for example, Chinese American,
German, Navajo, Alaskan Aleut):
(1) Asian or Asian-American
(2) Black, African-American
(3) Hispanic, Latino, Mexican-American
(4) Pacific Islander
(5) Native American or American Indian
(6) White, European American
(7) Multicultural Mixed Race
(8) Other, please specify
4. How many official organizations are you involved with at school
(for example, clubs, athletics, fraternities/sororities, etc.)? organizations
5. Please circle the number next to your current living situation while attending UF:
(1) live on campus in a residence hall
(2) live in a fraternity or sorority
(3) live off-campus in an apartment or house (includes Married Student Housing)
(4) live off-campus with parents)
(5) cooperative house
6. Please circle the number next to your college:
(1) Agricultural & Life Sciences (10) Journalism & Communications
(2) Business Administration (11) Law
(3) Dentistry (12) Liberal Arts & Sciences
(4) Design, Construction, & Planning (13) Medicine
(5) Education (14) Natural Resources & Environment
(6) Engineering (15) Nursing
(7) Fine Arts (16) Pharmacy
(8) Health Professions (17) Veterinary Medicine
(9) Health & Human Performance (18) Undecided, Undeclared
7. How many semesters have you completed at UF? (don't count
the current semester, put 0 if you are a first semester student) UF Semesters

8. How many semesters of college have you completed altogether
(at UF or elsewhere)? Total Semesters

9. Please indicate your undergraduate Grade Point Average:
(skip this if you don't have a GPA yet) GPA (4.0 scale)









APPENDIX B
ALMOST PERFECT SCALE REVISED

The following items are designed to measure certain attitudes people have toward themselves,
their performance, and toward others. It is important that your answers be true and accurate for
you. In the space next to the statement, please select a number from "1" (strongly disagree) to "7"
(strongly agree) to describe your degree of agreement with each item.

STRONGLY DISAGREE SLIGHTLY NEUTRAL SLIGHTLY AGREE STRONGLY
DISAGREE DISAGREE AGREE AGREE
1 2 3 4 5 6 7


1. I have high standards for my performance at work or at school.
2. I am an orderly person.
3. I often feel frustrated because I can't meet my goals.
4. Neatness is important to me.
5. If you don't expect much out of yourself you will never succeed.
6. My best just never seems to be good enough for me.
7. I think things should be put away in their place.
8. I have high expectations for myself.
9. I rarely live up to my high standards.
10. I like to always be organized and disciplined.
11. Doing my best never seems to be enough.
12. I set very high standards for myself.
13. I am never satisfied with my accomplishments.
14. I expect the best from myself.
15. I often worry about not measuring up to my own expectations.
16. My performance rarely measures up to my standards.
17. I am not satisfied even when I know I have done my best.
18. I am seldom able to meet my own high standards for performance.
19. I try to do my best at everything I do.
20. I am hardly ever satisfied with my performance.
21. I hardly ever feel that what I've done is good enough.
22. I have a strong need to strive for excellence.
23. I often feel disappointment after completing a task because I know I could have done
better.
24. Using the scale above, please rate the degree to which you agree that you are
perfectionistic.









APPENDIX C
SUPERIORITY AND GOAL INSTABILITY SCALES


The following items measure attitudes about yourself. Please select a number from "1" (strongly
agree) to "6" (strongly disagree) to describe your degree of agreement with each item.

STRONGLY MODERATELY SLIGHTLY SLIGHTLY MODERATELY STRONGLY
AGREE AGREE AGREE DISAGREE DISAGREE DISAGREE
1 2 3 4 5 6

1. It's easier for me to start than to finish projects............ 1 2 3 4 5 6
2. I wonder where my life is headed............. .......... 1 2 3 4 5 6
3. I don't seem to make decisions by myself ............... 1 2 3 4 5 6
4. I don't seem to have the drive to get my work done..... 1 2 3 4 5 6
5. I lose my sense of direction.................................. 1 2 3 4 5 6
6. I have more ideas than energy............................. 1 2 3 4 5 6
7. I don't seem to get going on anything important. ........ 1 2 3 4 5 6
8. After a while, I lose sight of my goals................... 1 2 3 4 5 6
9. I have confusion about who I am......................... 1 2 3 4 5 6
10. It's hard to find a reason for working..................... 1 2 3 4 5 6
11. My friends follow my lead............................... 1 2 3 4 5 6
12. I deserve favors from others................................ 1 2 3 4 5 6
13. I'm witty and charming with others...................... 1 2 3 4 5 6
14. My looks are one of the things that attract others to me 1 2 3 4 5 6
15. I could show up my friends if I wanted to.................1 2 3 4 5 6
16. Running the show means a lot to me....................... 1 2 3 4 5 6
17. Being admired by others helps me feel fantastic......... 1 2 3 4 5 6
18. Achieving out of the ordinary accomplishments
would make me feel complete.......................... 1 2 3 4 5 6
19. I catch myself wanting to be a hero............ ............. 1 2 3 4 5 6
20. I know that I have more natural talents than most...... 1 2 3 4 5 6









APPENDIX D
MMPI-2 K-SCALE

Contents of this page removed per demand of copyright holder,
NCS Pearson, Inc. (Pearson).

No other changes in document.







APPENDIX E
DEFENSE STYLES QUESTIONNAIRE

This questionnaire consists of a number of statements about personal attitudes. There are no
right or wrong answers. Using the 9-point scale shown below, please indicate how much you
agree or disagree with each statement by selecting one of the numbers on the scale beside the
statement.

STRONGLY DISAGREE MODERATELY SLIGHTLY NEUTRAL
DISAGREE DISAGREE DISAGREE

1 2 3 4 5
SLIGHTLY MODERATELY AGREE STRONGLY
AGREE AGREE AGREE

6 7 8 9


1. I get satisfaction from helping others and if this were taken away from me I would get
depressed.
2. I am able to keep a problem out of my mind until I have time to deal with it.
3. I work out my anxiety through doing something constructive and creative like painting or
wood-work.
4. I am able to find good reasons for everything I do.
5. I am able to laugh at myself pretty easily.
6. People tend to mistreat me.
7. If something mugged me and stole my money, I'd rather he be helped than punished.
8. People say I tend to ignore unpleasant facts as if they didn't exist.
9. I ignore danger as if I was Superman.
10. I pride myself on my ability to cut people down to size.
11. I often act impulsively when something is bothering me.
12. I get physically ill when things aren't going well for me.
13. I'm a very inhibited person.
14. I get more satisfaction from my fantasies than from my real life.
15. I have special talents that allow me to go through life with no problems.
16. There are always good reasons when things don't work out for me.
17. I work more things out in my daydreams than in my real life.
18. I fear nothing.
19. Sometimes I think I'm an angel and other times I think I'm a devil.
20. I get openly aggressive when I feel hurt.
21. I always feel that someone I know is like a guardian angel.
22. As far as I'm concerned, people are either good or bad.
23. If my boss bugged me, I might make a mistake in my work or work more slowly so as to
get back at him.
24. There is someone I know who can do anything and who is absolutely fair and just.
25. I can keep the lid on my feelings if letting them out would interfere with what I'm doing.









26. I'm usually able to see the funny side of an otherwise painful predicament.
27. I get a headache when I have to do something I don't like.
28. I often find myself being very nice to people who by all rights I should be angry at.
29. I am sure I get a raw deal from life.
30. When I have to face a difficult situation I try to imagine what it will be like and plan
ways to cope with it.
31. Doctors never really understand what is wrong with me.
32. After I fight for my rights, I tend to apologize for my assertiveness.
33. When I'm depressed or anxious, eating makes me feel better.
34. I'm often told that I don't show my feelings.
35. If I can predict that I'm going to be sad ahead of time, I can cope better.
36. No matter how much I complain, I never get a satisfactory response.
37. Often I find that I don't feel anything when the situation would seem to warrant strong
emotions.
38. Sticking to the task at hand keeps me from feeling depressed or anxious.
39. If I were in a crisis, I would seek out another person who had the same problem.
40. If I have an aggressive thought, I feel the need to do something to compensate for it.









APPENDIX F
SELF-CONCEALMENT SCALE

Please answer the following questions truthfully and accurately as they apply to you. In the space
next to the statement, please select a number from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) to
describe your degree of agreement with each item.


STRONGLY DISAGREE NEUTRAL AGREE STRONGLY
DISAGREE AGREE
1 2 3 4 5


1. I have an important secret that I haven't shared with anyone.
2. If I shared all my secrets with my friends, they'd like me less.
3. There are lots of things about me that I keep to myself.
4. Some of my secrets have really tormented me.
5. When something bad happens to me, I tend to keep it to myself.
6. I'm often afraid I'll reveal something I don't want to.
7. Telling a secret often backfires and I wish I hadn't told it.
8. I have a secret that is so private I would lie if anybody asked me about it.
9. My secrets are too embarrassing to share with others.
10. I have negative thoughts about myself that I never share with anyone.









APPENDIX G
HOPKINS SYMPTOM CHECKLIST 21

How have you felt during the past seven days including today? Use the following scale to
describe how distressing you have found these things over this time.


NOT AT ALL A LITTLE QUITE A BIT EXTREMELY

1 2 3 4


1. Difficulty in speaking when you are excited
2. Trouble remembering things
3. Worried about sloppiness or carelessness
4. Blaming yourself for things
5. Pains in the lower part of your back
6. Feeling lonely
7. Feeling blue
8. Your feelings being easily hurt
9. Feeling others do not understand you or are unsympathetic
10. Feeling that people are unfriendly or dislike you
11. Having to do things very slowly in order to be sure you are doing them right
12. Feeling inferior to others
13. Soreness of your muscles
14. Having to check and double-check what you do
15. Hot or cold spells
16. Your mind going blank
17. Numbness or tingling in parts of your body
18. A lump in your throat
19. Trouble concentrating
20. Weakness in parts of your body
21. Heavy feelings in your arms and legs









APPENDIX H
ONLINE INFORMED CONSENT

Dear Student:

The purpose of this study is to measure some personal characteristics. Participation in this study
involves a set of questionnaires that takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. You do not
have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. No compensation is being offered for
involvement in this study.

There are no known risks involved in completing the study and many students may find that they
learn something about themselves from participating in this research. Nonetheless, if being part
of the study makes you feel uncomfortable, you may consider speaking to a counselor who may
be able to help you with your reactions. You can contact a counselor through the University of
Florida Counseling Center (P301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575). You may benefit by participating in
this study through increased awareness and self-understanding. You will also be contributing to
knowledge regarding researchers' ability to understand personality. Your identity will be kept
confidential to the extent provided by law. Your responses on the questionnaires will be assigned
a code number and your name will not be used in any report.

You can only participate if you are 18 years of age, or older. Your participation in this study is
completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating and you have the right to
withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence.

If you have any questions about this research, you may contact David Hannah at joeyh@ufl.edu
or (352) 359-5889, or Dr. Kenneth Rice at kgrl@ufl.edu or (352) 392-0601 ext. 246. Any
questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant may be directed to the UFIRB
office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL, 32611; or by phone at (352) 392-
0433.

Thank you for your time. I sincerely appreciate your involvement in this research.


By typing your name below, you agree that you have read the procedure described above and
voluntarily agree to participate in the study. You may print this page for your own records if you
wish.









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

David Joseph Hannah was born November 26, 1983 in Washington D.C. He graduated

cum laude from the University of Florida in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and

a minor in general education. David was admitted to the University of Florida Counseling

Psychology doctoral program in 2006, and hopes to earn his Ph.D. within the next few years. His

current academic pursuits include the study of perfectionism, defensiveness, suicide, and

therapeutic interventions. His clinical work is focused on providing counseling services for

college students, children/adolescents, and crisis intervention/suicide prevention.





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1 DEFENSIVE MECHANISMS OF PERFECTIONISTS By DAVID J. HANNAH A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 David J. Hannah

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3 To Mary Triay, for first introducing me to psychology

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am thankful to my advisor and committee chair, Dr. Ken Rice, for countless hours of guidance and encouragement throughout the development of this project and my academic training. I am also thankful for the help a nd support of my committee members, Dr. Greg Neimeyer and Dr. Julie Graber. Finally, I am grateful to Joel Rauzin for his computer programming skills that a llowed for data collection.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................8 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................92 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................13The Concept of Perfectionism................................................................................................ 13Psychological Issues of Perfectionism....................................................................................14Self Psychology......................................................................................................................15Self Psychology Applied to Perfectionism.............................................................................18Defensiveness.........................................................................................................................19Self-Concealment............................................................................................................19Defensive Mechanisms.................................................................................................... 20Current Study..........................................................................................................................22Summary of Hypotheses......................................................................................................... 253 METHOD......................................................................................................................... ......26Participants.............................................................................................................................26Measures.................................................................................................................................27Procedure................................................................................................................................314 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................32Descriptive Statistics an d Preliminary Analyses....................................................................32Perfectionism..........................................................................................................................33Self Psychology......................................................................................................................34Defensiveness.........................................................................................................................34Self-Concealment...................................................................................................................35Psychological Distress......................................................................................................... ...355 DISCUSSION.........................................................................................................................40Implications of Results........................................................................................................ ...45Limitations and Future Directions.......................................................................................... 46Conclusions.............................................................................................................................49

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6 APPENDIX A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE.................................................................................. 51B ALMOST PERFECT SCALE REVISED........................................................................... 52C SUPERIORITY AND GOAL INSTABILITY SCALES....................................................... 53D MMPI-2 K-SCALE................................................................................................................ 54E DEFENSE STYLES QUESTIONNAIRE.............................................................................. 55F SELF-CONCEALMENT SCALE..........................................................................................57G HOPKINS SYMPTOM CHECKLIST 21............................................................................ 58H ONLINE INFORMED CONSENT........................................................................................ 59REFERENCE LIST.......................................................................................................................60BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................65

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Sample means and standard deviations.............................................................................. 374-2 Scale correlations and reliability estimates........................................................................384-3 Sample means, standard devi ations, and ANOVA results per group................................ 39

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8 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science DEFENSIVE MECHANISMS OF PERFECTIONISTS By David J. Hannah August 2008 Chair: Kenneth G. Rice Major: Psychology Perfectionism has been extensively researched as a pervasive problem in college students and in counseling. Many of the findings in this res earch show that perfectio nists are less likely to seek counseling, and if they do are highly unlikely to be successful. Several authors have theorized perfectionists unsuccessful therapy ma y be due to, among other things, problem areas in self psychological conflicts, defensiveness, self-concealment, and psychological distress. The current study explored multidimensional perfectionism constructs as they relate to these problem areas, and also examines how these areas rela te to one another. Results showed that perfectionists do have disrupted selfobject needs, we re less likely to be defensive, and results of self-concealment were mixed.

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9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Perfection ism has been a topic of debate in the literature for the past few decades. Early definitions of the perfectionism construct were based on high standards, but this has expanded more recently. One of the first models by Hamachek (1978) defined perfectionism as being either normal or neurotic. Norm al perfectionists have high sta ndards but tolerate mistakes, whereas neurotic perfectionists al so have high standards but obse ss over mistakes and engage in overly critical self-evaluations This was an early model of perfectionism that included a nondisturbed and even healthy subtype. Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate (1990) were critical of the idea of a normal perfectionist and believed that high standards were not sufficient to classify perfectionists. They created a measure to assess aspect s of perfectionism that were re lated to clinical measures of psychopathology, many of which included attributes of perfectionism. La ter, Hewitt and Flett (1991b) described perfectionism in terms of bein g self-oriented, other-oriented and sociallyprescribed. These types of pe rfectionism were based on the imposition of high standards, meaning the standards were either imposed on the self, on others, or from others. Most recently there has been renewed support for a two dimensional model of perfectionism that includes maladaptive and ad aptive perfectionism. Maladaptive perfectionists have unrealistically high standards and experience excessive self-c riticism when failing to meet those standards. Adaptive perfect ionists have set very high standards for themselves, but these goals are experienced positively and motivationall y. This model allows for a person to display behaviors and feelings consiste nt with perfectionism, but not necessarily have the negative psychological consequences of experiencing a discrepancy between standards and actual

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10 performance (Rice & Slaney, 2002; Rice, As hby, & Slaney, 1998; Slaney, Ashby, & Trippi, 1995). Problems related to perfectionism manife st in numerous areas of psychological functioning such as anxiety (F lett & Hewitt, 2004), shame (A shby, Rice, & Martin, 2006), and depression (Blatt, 1995). Perfectio nists react to these problems in defensive manners, and many of these defensive maneuvers have been hypothesized to be connected to K ohuts theory of self psychology. These issues are particularly problematic in the co llege population and manifest themselves in therapeutic settings where perfecti onists are rarely successful, if they even seek help in the first place (Blatt, 1995; Nadler, 1983). Self psychology constructs have been investigated in perfectionists us ing older models and measures of perfectionism; replication and extension of earlier work is needed using meas ures designed to tap adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism. Self psychology is based on the developmen t of a cohesive sense of self during childhood. The core of this theory is based on se lfobject needs of grandiosity and idealization that a child strives to have met through self-expr ession. Grandiosity needs are very narcissistic, placing the child as the center of all reality. Idealization is a need to merge with caretaking figures, usually parents, and be just like th em. In normal development, these needs are met through empathic reflection of self-expressi on. When attempts at self-expression are occasionally not properly mirrored, the child then revises his/her concept of self and improves self-soothing capacities. Therefore, appropriate selfobject frustrations generally result in a functional, cohesive sense of self (Kohut, 1971; 1977). Problematic development occurs when selfobject needs are too frequently frustrated and the child may never mature out of grandiosity and idealization needs (Patton & Sullivan, 1980).

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11 Kohuts self psychology also includes defensiv e mechanisms that either actively make up for a defect, or work to conceal it. Making up for a defect is similar to global defensiveness, and concealing a defect is related to self-concealment. Global defensiv eness is defined as a persons tendency to be guarded or prot ective, and self-concealment is a persons tendency to actively conceal potentially negative or distressing personal information. Dickinson and Ashby (2005) measured ego defenses in perfectionists and found that maladaptive perfectionists tend to utilize more immature defense styles than adaptive a nd non-perfectionists. Kawamura and Frost (2004) found self-concealment to be a significant medi ator between perfectio nism and psychological distress. Self-concealment is theorized to be a specific defensive coping mechanism, so global defensiveness and self-concealment will be measured separately (Cramer, 1991). The literature surrounding self psychology, defe nsiveness, and self-concealment, as each construct relates to perfectionism, needs to be updated and expanded upon. One specific aim of this study is to conceptually replicate a previous study by Rice and Dellwo (2002) by including updated measures of perfectionism; results are ex pected to show that perfectionism may be associated with frustrated grandiose needs to be admired by idealized figures. Another purpose of this study is to examine the level of global defensivenes s in perfectionists, with the expectation that perfectionists will be more defensive than non-perfectionists. A study by Kawamura and Frost (2004) investigated a mediator relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and self-concealment, so this study will examine the tendency to self-conceal by both maladaptive and adaptive perfectionists as compared to non-perfec tionists; results are expected to show that both maladaptive and ad aptive perfectionists have a significantly higher tendency to self-conceal than non-perfectionists.

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12 The current study will measure the association between perf ectionism and each of the aforementioned constructs. In a preliminary analysis, the discriminant validity between measures of defensiveness and self-concealment will be measured. Then, as an extension of the self psychology literature, perfectionism group differe nces will be measured on self psychology constructs using a more contemporary measure of perfectionism than was previously used. Next, differences in groups of perfectionists will be measured with an assessment of global defensiveness. Group differences will also be te sted with self-concealment as the dependent variable. Finally, the level of psychological distress among groups will be measured. Chapter Two provides a more extensive review of the literature of perfectionism, self psychology, defensiveness, and self-concealment The conclusion of Chapter Two includes hypotheses regarding the direction of the relationship perfectionism has to dimensions of self psychology, psychological defense, self-concealmen t, and psychological distress. Chapter Three covers participant recruitment, data collection method, and measures used. Chapter Four reports on statistical results of the study, and Chapte r Five provides interp retation, discussion, limitations, implications, and c onclusions of those results.

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13 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The Concept of Perfectionism Perfectionism has been m entioned in the literature for a long time, dating back even before Karen Horneys (1939) important theore tical work, but not unt il more recently has perfectionism received specific empirical attentio n and focus. Traditionally the definition of perfection was abstract and mos tly related to having high standa rds. Hamachek (1978) defined two dimensions of perfectionism that he called normal and neurotic. Normal perfectionists have high standards but are able to tolerate non-perfection in most contexts. Neurotic perfectionists have high standards similar to normal perfecti onists, but leave no room for mistakes and ample room for self-criticism. A ne urotic perfectionist is overly concerned with mistakes, no matter how small, a concern that corresponds to a fear of failure rather than a desire for achievement. Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate (1990) ar gued against the idea of a normal form of perfectionism and believed that the definition of perfectionism still put too much emphasis on high standards alone. The authors felt the defin ition was lacking key elements to distinguish a perfectionist from someone who was simply high achieving, competitive, and successful. Therefore, Frost et al. (1990) created and f ound empirical support for their Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS). This measure included subscales that tapped into the aspects of perfectionism closely associated with the more clinical measures of psychopathology. The MPS subscales include Concern Over Mistakes, Personal Standards, Parental Expectations, Parental Criticism, Doubts About Actions, and Organiza tion. The MPS was successful at measuring perfectionism based on a concern over mi stakes rather than high standards.

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14 Since Frost et al., there has been increasing evidence supporting similar conceptualizations of perfectionism as a multidimensional construct. For example, Hewitt and Flett (1991b) developed a model of self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially-prescribed perfectionism. Self-oriented pe rfectionists set unrealistically high standards for their own performance, other-oriented perfectionists have high standard s for the conditions and people around them, and socially-prescribed perfectionists believe the people in th eir lives and society have unrealistically high standards for them. This model of perfectionism was a step in the direction of understanding the et iology of excessively high standards; however it still seemed incomplete without defining what constitutes well-adjusted and functioning perfectionists. Most recently, and consistent with earlier c onceptualizations, there has been extensive support for a two dimensional structure of perf ectionism emphasizing maladaptive and adaptive aspects of the construct (Ri ce & Slaney, 2002; Rice, Ashby, & Slaney, 1998; Slaney, Ashby, & Trippi, 1995). Maladaptive perfectionists have unrealistically high standards for performance with excessively critical self-eva luations and perceived inadequaci es in attempting to meet those standards. Similar to maladaptive perfectionists, adaptive perfectionists have high standards and persevere to meet them, however these stri vings are experienced as encouraging and motivational rather than distressing. Psychological Issues of Perfectionism Perfectionism has been linked to num erous psychological issues, in cluding anxiety (Flett & Hewitt, 2004), shame (Ashby, Rice, & Martin, 2006), and depression (Blatt, 1995). A large body of literature has emerged surrounding perfectionisms link to depression, which confirms a strong, positive relationship betw een maladaptive perfectionism and depression (Blatt, 1995; Hewitt & Flett, 1991a). Aldea and Rice (2006) found that maladaptive perfectionists demonstrate more problematic emotional regulation than adaptive perfectionists, and speculated that the

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15 psychological distress of perfectionism could be attributed to affect dysregulation. When faced with troubles, maladaptive perf ectionists have especially nega tive coping skills compared to adaptive and non-perfectionists (OConnor & O Connor, 2003). Problematic coping could be another mechanism through which perfectionism affects psychologica l well-being (Rice & Lapsley, 2001). Perfectionism has shown to be an immense problem for college st udents, especially among those in counseling (Chandler & Gallagh er, 1996). Perfectionism has been found to manifest in academic problems, depression, a nxiety, emotional maladjustment, and other psychological difficulties (Blatt, 1995; Flett & Hewitt, 2004; Rice & Lapsley, 2001). Perfectionists in general are less likely to be succ essful in treatment, but they are also less likely than non-perfectionists to actually seek assistance for a fear of being seen as a failure (Blatt, 1995; Nadler, 1983). One explanation for unsuccessf ul treatment may be the low self-esteem often present with maladaptive perfectionists. Low self-esteem can result in high sensitivity to perceived critical feedback and might also resu lt in displays of extreme emotional reactivity (Preusser, Rice, & Ashby, 1994; Rice & Lopez, 2004) The present study is designed to increase understanding of the factors that impede perfectionists from receiving therapeutic treatment benefits. The focus will be on defensiveness and self-concealment, concepts embedded in Kohuts theory of self psychology. Self Psychology Self psychology, rooted in psychoanalytic th eory, includes thorough attention to defense m echanisms. In classic psychoanalytic theory, perfectionism has been theorized to work unconsciously to protect the self from criticism, blame, guilt, and rejection stemming from a harsh superego demanding perfection and criti cal of failure (Blatt, 1995; Hamachek, 1978; Sorotzkin, 1985). The superego may demand perfec tion, but when perfection cannot be achieved,

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16 strong dissonance is created betw een the high standards set forth and actual performance (Pacht, 1984). This dissonance is consistent with th e definition of maladaptive perfectionism. Specifically, maladaptive perfect ionists are identified as maintaining unreasonably high standards, and the failure to meet those standards results is excessively harsh self-criticism (Slaney, Ashby, & Trippi, 1995). Kohuts theory is based on the development of the self during childhood. The self is considered the core of the personality. At the he art of the self psychology theory is what Kohut termed selfobject needs. In hi s earlier work, Kohut expanded se lfobject needs into two areas referred to as grandiose needs a nd idealization needs. Grandiose n eeds are very narcissistic, with the child needing to be the cente r of the universe. The child lives by implicit thoughts such as, I am perfect, I am powerful, I am loved. Idealizat ion needs are related to goal-setting by striving to merge with omnipotent, idealized figures, us ually parents. Here the childs experiencing is similar to thoughts such as, You are perfect and I will be like you. Both of these needs work together fluidly to develop the self based on how the needs are met (Kohut, 1971; 1977). In 1984, Kohut expanded his theory of self psycholo gy to include a third, interpersonal dimension referred to as alter ego need or belongingness, but for the purposes of this study and its emphasis on intra-personal functioning rather than interpersonal functioning, this additional construct will not be addressed. Selfobject needs are met by the empathetic mirroring of attempts at self-expression, usually provided by parents or caregivers, the idea lized figures. However, it is rare that parents are able to be perfect empathic mirrors at ev ery self-expression event, and this inconsistency gives the child an opportunity to revise his/her concept of self. This being said, failures at mirroring can be a normal and positive part of growth when experienced properly (Kohut, 1971;

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17 1977). For example, if a child were to look for th e fulfillment of grandiose needs to be perfect, and the need is not met with proper reflection, she or he may revise the sense of self to be less narcissistic. On the other hand, if a childs expressions of grandi ose needs to be perfect are met excessively, the child may integrate the idea of being perfect into a concept of self. In order to be stable and functional, the self needs to be cohesive. At birth, a child has a primitive sense of self that is grandiose and desires to merge with parenting figures. When empathic failures occur appropr iately, the event serves as an introduction to reality, and selfobjects change to self-asser tiveness and admiration, which are the more adaptive counterparts of grandiosity and idealization. The self-asse rtiveness construct is ambitiousness, while admiration is the ability to perceive the self as separate from others. Should empathetic failures occur inappropriately, the child ma y never develop out of grandios ity and idealization needs, or worse, may regress to very maladaptive traits of shame and painful envy (Patton & Sullivan, 1980). It appears that perfectionists have some disruption in this pr ocess that develops a cohesive self. Kohuts self psychology theory has been a pplied to numerous realms of psychology, ranging from broad areas such as general couns eling (Patton & Meara, 1996), to specific foci like child abuse (Eldridg e & Finnican, 1985), the elderly (Lynch, 1988), and group psychotherapy (Harwood, 1983). Relevant to th e current study, Patton and Robbins (1982) presented the applicability of self psychology to the college student popu lation. They provided a list of issues presented by college students in therapy that are commonly challenging for their counselors to address, and demonstrated how each facet of self psychology applies to problems originating during early devel opment and arising in collegeage populations. Several of the issues pointed out were consistent with concepts relevant to perfectionism, such as, The student

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18 discloses perverse sexual fantasie s or activities in which themes of perfection and domination are evident (Patton & Robbins, 1982, p. 877). Self Psychology Applied to Perfectionism A study by Rice and Dellwo (2002) investigat ed how self psychology constructs are related to perfectionism usi ng the MPS (Frost et al., 1990) and the Superiority and Goal Instability Scales (Robbins & Pa tton, 1985). Perfectionism groups were formed on the basis of subscale scores of the MPS. Specifically, cluste r analysis revealed a group labeled adaptive perfectionists who had relatively high Personal St andards and Organization scores but low scores on the other MPS subscales. A gr oup of maladaptive pe rfectionists emerged who had high scores on all MPS subscales. Maladaptive perfectionists had more goal instability (unmet idealization needs) than adaptive perfectioni sts and non-perfectionists, and both types of perfectionists were equally disrupted in superiority (unmet grandi ose self needs) fulfillment compared with nonperfectionists. These findings suggest that perf ectionism may develop fro m frustrated grandiose needs to be admired by idealized figures (Rice & Dellwo, 2002). From the results of Rice and Dellwo (2002) it is important to emphasize that idealization would seem especially problematic for maladap tive perfectionists. Resu lts have shown that adaptive and non-perfectionists have a better integrated sense of idealization compared to maladaptive perfectionists. Both groups of perf ectionists displayed more unmet grandiose needs than non-perfectionists. Rice a nd Dellwo (2002) interpreted thes e findings to mean that all perfectionists have a need for admiration from others, and perfectionism is a result of trying to cope with insufficient empathetic reflection a nd inadequate idealized figures. With this interpretation, maladaptive perf ectionism would then originate from unmet grandiose needs and inadequate idealized figures that model having high standards and suffer psychological consequences as a result of not meeting them. Adaptive perfectionism would be derived from the

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19 same grandiose needs and idealized figures with similar high standards, but without the adverse consequences tethered to idealiz ation. Thus, these aspects of se lf psychology might be factors predictive of perfectioni sm (Rice & Dellwo, 2002). Integrating this theory into the study provides a framework that already consists of concepts such as perfectionism and defensivenes s. In addition, Kohuts theory of self also includes an explanation for the development of perfectionistic tendencies, which is highly debated in the current literature. Although the work is enti rely theoretical and re stricted to a more psychodynamic viewpoint, this still provides a mo re direct structure for the concept of perfectionism. Defensiveness Kohuts theory of self psychology also includes defensive constructs labeled com pensatory structures and defensive strategies Compensatory structures are stable behaviors that actively make up for a defect, not just cover it up. Defensive strategies are similar to compensatory structures, however they focus dir ectly on the defective area in order to conceal it (Kohut, 1977). An example of a compensatory struct ure would be general defensiveness to cover up something psychologically distressing. An example of a defensive strategy would be purposefully hiding something psychologically di stressing from others. Defensive structures appear to be congruent with an existing construct called self-concealment. Self-concealment is defined as a tendency to activel y hide potentially negative or distressing personal information from others, including therap ists (Larson & Chastain, 1990). Self-Concealment Research on self-concealm ent has shown the c onstruct to be related to many problematic psychological aspects. In particul ar, studies have found self-conceal ment to be associated with anxiety, depression, shyness, and negative self -esteem (Ichiyama, Colbert, Laramore, Heim,

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20 Carone, & Schmidt, 1993). Self-concealment has also been linked to general psychological distress and a tendency to avoi d psychological treatment (Cep eda-Benito & Short, 1998). Research involving the f unctionality of self-conc ealment has shown the construct to tap aspects of defensive coping (Ritz & Dahme, 1996). All of these problems associated with selfconcealment are also issues faced by perfectionists, as mentioned earlier. A recent study by Kawamura and Frost (2004) examined self-concealment as a mediator between perfectionism and psychological distress The authors used five subscales from the Multidimensional Perfectionism S cale (Concern Over Mistakes, D oubts About Actions, Parental Criticism, Parental Expectations, and Personal Standards; Frost et al., 1990) to measure perfectionism, as well as self-reports on self-c oncealment and of psychological distress. Their results show self-concealment to be a signi ficant mediator in the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress. The resulting model positioned perfectionism as related to high levels of psychological distress, with self-concealment influencing this relationship a nd being partially responsible fo r the resulting psychological distress. This relationship is important because self-concealment is identified as a defensive mechanism (Cramer, 1991). Defensive Mechanisms There are many different defensive coping m echanisms in the literature, and many different measures aimed at those constructs. Some of these constructs ar e have been included in the DSM-IV-TR, and others, such as self-conc ealment, are more independently validated (American Psychiatric Association, 2003). For example, a commonly measured form of defensiveness, known as ego defense, is listed in the DSM-IV-TR. Defenses can further be grouped as mature, immature, and neurotic, referring to the adaptiveness of each defense. Mature ego defenses are the most adaptive and include humor, sublimation, and suppression. Immature

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21 ego defenses include more childish mechanisms such as regression, passive aggression, and acting out. Neurotic ego defenses are th e least adaptive, including mechanisms like displacement, repression, and isol ation, and are generally seen in more pathological populations (Andrews, Singh, & Bond, 1993). Of these three types of ego defenses arranged by adaptiveness, it would seem possible that different types of perfectionists may employ different styles of defenses. In relation to defenses, Dickinson and Ashby (2005) investigated perfectionists ego defense styles using the Defense Styles Questi onnaire (Andrews et al., 1993). They discovered that maladaptive perfectionists tend to employ more immature defense styles compared to adaptive perfectionists and non-perfectionists. The third defense styles construct, neurotic, was distinctly associated with severe psychopathol ogy but was not found to have any significant relationship with perfectionism (Dickinson & As hby, 2005). Discovering that perfectionists have an ego fixation makes important connections to Kohuts self psychology and the defensive structures. Dickinson and Ashby (2005) have calle d for further validation of defensiveness in perfectionists. Ego fixation is the consequence of an excessive ly critical superego th at results in overly harsh self-criticism, meaning th e person is exceedingly obsessed with the internal feedback received (Sorotzkin, 1985). The finding that perfectionists have an e go fixation brings around full circle the idea that perfectionists may be e xperiencing frustrated egocen tric, grandiose needs. As hypothesized by Rice and Dellwo (2002) a nd Dickinson and Ashby (2005), perfectionists may be having defensive reactions to these frustrated needs, a nd perfectionism itself may be a defense mechanism. For instance, if a childs gr andiose needs are not met and she/he develops a narcissistic definition of self, perfectionism could be the mechanism to defend and maintain that

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22 grandiose identity. Defensiveness is a multifaceted construct and clearly one that is difficult define. Some of the definitional challenges can be attributed to dense and diverse theoretical orientations and their explanati ons of defensiveness. Although th eoretical orientat ions may vary in their explanation of the function served by defensiveness, most agree on forms that defensiveness can take. As a result, there has been a trend in the literature towards measuring a general tendency to be defensive rather than measuring specific mechanisms; several popular and highly regarded psychological asse ssment instruments, such as the MMPI-2 (Butcher et al., 1989), address defensiveness in this more general manner (Cramer, 1991). Current Study An establish ed theory that can be applied to the development of perf ectionistic tendencies and associated defensiveness is Kohuts self psychology. This theory in cludes two types of defensiveness, one that is defensive of the se lf and one that conceals something psychologically distressing from the self and others. Previous studies have examined specific mechanisms of defensiveness in perfectionists, such as ego defenses, but non e have investigated a general tendency to be defensive. The present study exam ined the association between perfectionism and different forms of defensiveness, and also attempted to replicate earlier findings regarding the link between perfectionism a nd self psychology dimensions. Rice and Dellwo (2002) examined Kohuts self psychology constructs in perfectionists using the MPS (Frost et al., 1990) and found that maladaptive perfectionists were the least welladjusted. As a conceptual rep lication of Rice and Dellwo (2002) a new and refined method for the classification of perfectionists was used to identify maladaptive, adaptive, and nonperfectionists. These groups were measured on key self psychology variables derived from the Superiority and Goal Instability Scales, namely grandiosity and idealization. The primary hypothesis was that results were ex pected to be consistent with Rice and Dellwos findings and

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23 should further support the applicat ion of Kohuts theory to perf ectionists. Specifically, it was expected that maladaptive perfect ionists would present more goal instability than adaptive and non-perfectionists, and both types of perfectionists would have di stressed superiority needs when compared with non-perfectionists. Defensive aspects of perfectionism were also examined. Dickinson and Ashby (2005) investigated defense styles based on the Defe nse Styles Questionnaire (Andrews et al., 1993), which assesses specific ego defenses. The results of their study make important ties to frustrated self psychological needs in perf ectionists. Their findings also revealed that maladaptive perfectionists have a tendency to use immature types of ego defense mechanisms more than other types of defenses; unfortunately they did not assess a global tendency to be defensive, only specific ego defenses. In a more global assessment of defensiveness, the K-Scale of the MMPI-2 (Butcher et al., 1989) was used to measure perfectionists tendenc ies to be defensive. It was expected that maladaptive perf ectionists would have generally higher K-Scale scores than adaptive and non-perfectionists, which woul d indicate problematic defensiveness. Kohuts theory of self psychology includes defe nsive strategies that conceal a defect, which was hypothesized to relate to self-concealment. Kawamura and Frost (2004) examined self-concealment in perfectionists with malada ptive qualities and found a mediator relationship between perfectionism and psychological dist ress. The current study explored how selfconcealment extends to adaptive perfectionists, as well as to maladaptive and non-perfectionists. Results were expected to show that both mala daptive and adaptive perfectionists would have equally high tendencies to self-conceal, which would be significan tly greater than nonperfectionists. Adaptive perfectionists were hypot hesized to have a tendency to self-conceal similar to maladaptive perfectionists because res earch has shown that both types of perfectionists

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24 are motivated by recognition of performance and ar e highly perceptive of performance relative to others (Mills & Blankstein, 2000). All of the constructs previously mentione d generally accompany, or are accompanied by, some degree of psychological distress. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (Green, Walkey, McCormick, & Taylor, 1988) is a well supporte d measure of psychological distress and can provide data to support the notion of heightened distress with the presence of perfectionism and defensiveness. Consistent with previous resear ch, it was expected that those who score in the more maladaptive range with pe rfectionistic tendencies, defensiveness, self-concealment, and disrupted selfobject needs will have a higher le vel of psychological distress (Aldea & Rice, 2006). More specifically, it was an ticipated that maladaptive pe rfectionists would report the highest levels of psychologi cal distress, followed by non-perfectionists, and adaptive perfectionists having the lowest distress. This would also a llow for another look into the relationship between self -concealment and psychological distress as investigated by Kawamura and Frost (2004). A possible confound in this study was that, a lthough conceptually distinct, the proposed measures self-concealment (Self-Concealment Scale; Larson & Chasta in, 1990) and general defensiveness (MMPI-2 K-Scale; Butcher et al., 1989) may not yield psychometrically distinct scores, an idea which has not yet been empirically explored. As a preliminary analysis, this study investigated the discriminant vali dity of the scores derived from these two questionnaires. It was expected that the two scores w ould in fact measure separate c onstructs. Ritz and Dahme (1996) explored the SCS as a measure of defensive coping and found it to tap a specific aspect of defensiveness, but they did not address the possi bility that it might also represent a global measure of defensiveness. Whereas other m easures similarly tap specific aspects of

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25 defensiveness, such as the Defensive Styles Questionnaire measuring eg o defense, the K-Scale has been hypothesized to work as a measure of globa l defensiveness. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the Self-Concealment Scale and the K-Scale are not measuring the same construct. Summary of Hypotheses To summ arize the theoretical direction of this study, th e following list includes each research question and its associated hypothesis: 1) Is the Self-Concealment Scale psychometrica lly distinct from the MMPI-2 K-Scale? I expected to find evidence for di scriminant validity in the dire ction that the two scales are measuring different constructs. 2) How do new measures of perfectionism relate to self psychology constructs? I expected to find that maladaptive perfectionists have mo re goal instability than adaptive and nonperfectionists, and that both types of perfec tionists have comparable degrees of disrupted superiority development compared with non-perfectionists. 3) How strong is the tendency for pe rfectionists to be defensive? I expected that maladaptive perfectionists would display more problema tic defensiveness than adaptive and nonperfectionists. 4) How strong is the tendency for pe rfectionists to self-conceal? I expected that both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists would have a high er tendency to self-conceal compared to non-perfectionists. 5) How distressed are perfectionists? I expect ed to find that the most maladaptive and defensive perfectionists would report the most psychological distress, followed by adaptive perfectionists, and la stly non-perfectionists.

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26 CHAPTER 3 METHOD Participants Participants were 304 college students at a large south eastern university and were recru ited from multiple sections of an underg raduate general psychology course. Information about the study was posted for students in th e psychology research poo l, where students are expected to participant in research or complete an alternate activity as required by the course. General psychology is a foundation-le vel course that includes students from a variety of majors. Participants completed the measures online. Seventeen participants were then removed from the final sample due to incorrectly answering validity items, such as Please answer this question as 3 Moderately Disagree, that were used to screen for random or careless responding. Demographic information was collected through a self-report survey (see Appendix A). The final sample included 287 participants consisting of 124 men (43.2%), 158 women (55.1%), and 5 with missing gender data (1.7%). Participants ranged in age from 18 to 26 ( M = 18.95, SD = 1.39). Approximately 55.7% of the sample was White/Euro-American, 12.9% Black/AfricanAmerican, 12.2% Latino/a, 11.8% Asian/Asian-Amer ican, 5.5% Multiracial/Other 0.7% Pacific Islander, 0.3% Native American, and 0.7% w ith missing data. Of the total sample, 151 participants had a grade poi nt average to report, which ranged from 2.0 to 4.0 ( M = 3.43, SD = 0.58) based on a scale from 1.0 to 4.0 (participants who did not yet have an official GPA were asked not to provide an answer). When examining differences between the particip ants that were retained for the analyses (N = 287) and those that were ex cluded (N =17), the differences are of no consequence. There were no significant differences between the two groups on any of the measured variables, age, or Grade Point Average. A significant differen ce was found between male versus female

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27 participants in the rate of exclusion [ 2 (1, N = 294) = 4.47, p < .05]. Of the 17 participants excluded, 75% were male (N = 9), 25% female (N = 3), and 5 did not provide gender data and were excluded for the purposes of scoring the K-Scale. There was also a significant difference in exclusion based on ethnicity [ 2 (1, N = 297) = 14.65, p < .05]. Of the excluded participants, 50% were White/Euro-American (N = 6), 25% Black/African-American (N = 3), 16.7% Asian/Asian-American (N = 2), 8.3% Native Amer ican (N = 1) and 5 did not provide data. Again, these losses due to exclus ion criteria were miniscule. Measures Perfectionis m The Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R; Slaney, Ashby, & Trippi, 1995; Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001) will be used to assess dimensions of perfectionism. The APS-R is a self-report questionnaire cons isting of 23 items that participan ts rate using a 7-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree to 7 = strongly agree; see Appendix B). The APS-R has three subscale scores: High Standards (7 items), Disc repancy (12 items), and Order (4 items). Items are worded as personal attributes, such as, I am hardly ever satis fied with my performance, and I have a strong need to strive for excelle nce. The High Standards subscale measures the respondents standards and expectations for perf ormance. The Discrepanc y subscale evaluates the perception of discrepancy between expectat ions for performance a nd self-evaluation of meeting those standards. The Order subscale asse sses a need for organization and structure. The APS-R subscale scores have dem onstrated adequate reliability, with Cronbachs alphas being .85 (High Standards), .92 (Discrepancy ), and .86 (Order). Construct validity for the measure has ranged from .49 to .83 (Rice & Slaney, 2002; Sl aney, et al., 2001). The High Standards and Order subscales differentiate perfectionists from non-perfectionists, and the Discrepancy subscale taps maladaptive dimensions of perfecti onists when combined with very high scores on

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28 High Standards. Perfectionists are grouped based on cutoff scores empirically validated by Rice and Ashby (2007). Using this method, participants with scores of 42 or higher on the High Standards subscale are classified as perfectionist s, and those with scores lower than 42 are classified as non-perfectionists. Perfectionists with scores of 42 or higher on the Discrepancy subscale are labeled maladaptive perfectionists, and perfectionists with scores below 42 on Discrepancy are labeled adaptive perfectionists. Self Psychology The Superiority and Goal Instability Scales (SGIS; Robbins & Patton, 1985) will be used to measure self psychology constructs based on unmet selfobject needs. The SGIS contains 20 self-report items that pa rticipants respond to usin g a 6-point Likert scale (1 = strongly agree to 6 = strongly disagree; see Appendix C). The m easure contains two subs cales for Superiority (10 items) and Goal Instability (10 items). Exampl es of items are I have confusion about who I am and Running the show means a lot to me. Th e Superiority scale meas ures the grandiosity construct and the Goal Instability scale taps idealization, which as a whole assesses self psychological needs consistent with Kohut (1971, 1977). Both subscales have demonstrated high internal consistency with alphas of .81 (Idealizati on) and .76 (Grandiosity), as well as strong testretest reliability over a 2 week interval (r = .76 and r = .80). Both subscales were found to be independent of each other, have strong construc t validity, and adequate convergent validity with other personality inventories. Reliability a nd validity measurements were based on college student samples. The items of this measure are scored in such a way that higher scores are indicative of a more adaptive self, thus lower scor es are used to identify more severe disruptions in self psychological needs (Robbins & Patton, 1985).

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29 Defensiveness The MMPI-2 K-Scale (Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989) is a measure of defensiveness. The K-Scale was devel oped to identify persons who attempt to present themselves in a favorable or unfavorable light. The K-Scale is used in the context of the full MMPI-2 as a correction for defensiv eness, similar to a covariate; however, there is evidence that the K-Scale can be used separately as a global assessment of defe nsiveness in a non-pathological population (Graham, 2006). The scale includes 30 ite ms rated as True or False, where higher scores on the K-Scale are asso ciated with more defensiveness in both pathological and nonpathological populations (see Appendix D). The KR -20 internal consistency for this scale is .74 for men and .72 for women (Butcher et al., 1989 ). Several studies have been conducted to establish the content and constr uct validity through e liciting responses that activate the MMPI-2 defensiveness scales (Graham, Watts, & Ti mbrook, 1991; Wetter, Baer, Berry, Robison, & Sumpter, 1993; Lim & Butcher, 1996). The K-Scale includes items that, when answered false, are indicative of defensiveness and are reverse-scored to reflect this. The Defense Style Questionnaire 40 (DSQ-40; Andrews, Singh, & Bond, 1993) is a measure of 20 defense mechanisms consistent with those in the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2003). These defense styles are gro uped as mature (sublimation, suppression, anticipation, altruism, and humor), immature (projection, passive aggression, acting out, fantasy, hypochondriasis, and dissociation), and neurotic (displacement, repression, isolation, and reaction formation). The DSQ-40 is a more concise and refined version of the original 88-item instrument developed by Bond, Gardner, Christian, and Sigal (1983). Items are answered on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (stro ngly disagree) to 9 (strongly agree) based on personal agreement with the statem ent; an example would be I am able to laugh at myself pretty

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30 easily (see Appendix E). Cronbachs alphas for the three defense styles have been demonstrated at .68 (mature), .58 (neurotic), and .80 (immature) which are borderline on being inadequate and should be considered with caution. Self-Concealment The Self-Concealment Scale (SCS; Larson & Chastain, 1990) measures a persons tendency to self-conceal potential ly distressing or negative personal information. The SCS is a 10-item self-report questionnaire rated using a 5-poi nt Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree; see Appendi x F) with higher scores indi cating higher levels of selfconcealment. Examples of items are, When some thing bad happens to me, I tend to keep it to myself, and My secrets are too embarrassing to share with others. Larson and Chastain (1990) found the internal consistency of the measure to have a Cronbachs coe fficient alpha of .83, as well as good retest reliability ( r = .74). Kawamura and Frost (2004) measured reliability to be .90. The measure has demonstrated ad equate construct validity as well as adequate discriminant validity from constructs such as self-disclos ure, depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. The measures of internal consistency and validity from both Larson and Chastain (1990) and Kawamura and Frost (2004) were based on sa mples of college students. This measure is statistically distinct from self-disclosure. Psychological Distress The Hopkins Symptom Checklist 21 (HSCL-21; Green, Walkey, McCormick, & Taylor, 1988) is a 21-item, self-report measure of psychological distress. The HSCL-21 is a condensed version of the original 58-ite m measure which included three s ubscales: General Feelings of Distress, Somatic Distress, and Performance Diff iculty. The HSCL-21 was constructed from the seven strongest items from each subscale, and has shown to be valid and reliable. Previous

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31 studies have found strong reliability for the HS CL-21 with a reliability coefficient of .89 (Kawamura & Frost, 2004). Consiste nt with previous research and the specific interest of this study, the overall score of this measure was used in the statistical analysis and not the individual subscales. Items are rated on a 4-point Likert scal e (1 = Not at all to 4 = Extremely; see Appendix G) based on recent personal experiences, w ith higher scores related to higher levels of psychological distress. Examples of items incl ude Feeling inferior to others and Blaming yourself for things. Procedure Recruited participants were given an onlin e inform ed consent form (see Appendix H) describing the nature of the st udy as research on personality ch aracteristics. All consenting participants were shown a set of questionnaires including the APS-R, SGIS, MMPI-2 K-Scale, and SCS measures, as well as questions about general demographic information. Throughout the survey were items such as Do not answer this question to maintain validity checks on the integrity of responses. To control for sequencing effects, the order of questionnaire presentation was randomized and recorded, but the demographi c questions always appeared last in the sequence. The combinations of measures result ed in an even distribution of 24 different sequences, each sequence being comparably repr esented, and no sequence appearing more than four times across all participants. Participants completing the questionnaires were awarded extra credit or research credits as per their course enrollment.

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32 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Descriptive Statistics a nd Preliminary Analyses Table 4-1 displays the range of scores, m eans, and standard deviations for the individual scale scores. When compared to other research, the means and standard deviations obtained from these participants were nearly identical, with the exception of the DSQ scores which were all lower on average. Table 4-2 includes correlations among all measures and subscales, as well as internal consistency coefficients for each measur e. The internal consistencies reported in this study were comparable to what previous resear ch has shown, with the exception of the MMPI-2 K-Scale which was considerably lower than initially found by Butcher et al. (1989). Perfectionists were grouped based on the cutoff scores validated by Rice and Ashby (2007). This method resulted in groupings of 78 maladaptive (27.2%), 81 adaptive (28.2%), and 128 non-perfectionist (44.6%) participants. The demographic compositions of each group were close representations of the sample as a whole (s ee Participants section). Table 4-1 displays the range of scores, means, and standard deviations for each scale and subscale based on perfectionism grouping. It was hypothesized that the measure of self-concealment (SCS) would be psychometrically distinct from defensiveness (M MPI-2 K-Scale). As a preliminary analysis, the discriminant validity between the SCS and MMP I-2 K-Scale was assessed by correlating scale scores and calculating a 95% confidence interval for that corr elation. The two measures were significantly negatively correlated ( r = -.40, p < .001) in a direction a nd strength that must be cautiously considered when interpreting the results. However, the 95% confidence interval (.30 to .49) revealed no substantial concern about the discriminant validity of the scores.

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33 The data fell within the accepted guidelines for normality assumptions, except for HSCL, Idealization, K-Scale, and High Standards scor es. Following recommendations of Tabachnick and Fidell (2001), the deviations from norma lity were corrected through square root and reflected square root transformations, and thos e transformed scores were then used in the analyses below. Comparing the findings between analyses of transformed and original raw scores revealed no differences in conclusions derived from F-te st results; however, post hoc results became more defined and a few more comp arisons were significant as a result of the transformations. All data displayed in the tabl es is based on the raw, non-transformed scores, except for the post hoc analyses as necessary. Using multiple ANOVAs causes extra concern for Type I error, so a Bonferroni alpha adjustment was used to address this concern. Homogeneity of variance assumptions were met for all analyses, so Bonferroni post hoc analyses were conducted and effect sizes were reported based on the commonly accepted Cohens f2 statistic guidelines (Cohen, 1988). A summary of the sample means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results can be found in Table 4-3. Post hoc results are recorded in the tabl e via subscript coding. Perfectionism The APS-R cutoff scores used by Rice and As hby (2007) were confirmed in this study by examining group differences among the three subscales. The analyses sh owed significant group differences with the Disc repancy [F (2, 286) = 121.83, p < .001], High Standards [F (2, 286) = 343.46, p < .001], and Order [F (2, 286) = 16.38, p < .001] subscales. Each subscale was found to have a relatively high effect size, f2 = 1.01, f2 = 1.35, f2 = .32 respectively. Post hoc analyses supported the group divisions based on the subscales with maladaptive perfectionists scoring highest on Discrepancy, adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists being equally elevated on High Standards and Order, and non-perfectionists wi th the lowest endorsement of subscales ( p < .001).

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34 Self Psychology To assess group differences between perf ectionists and non-perfectionists on self psychological needs scores, separate one-way Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) were conducted with SGIS subscale scores as the dependent vari ables. Results showed significant differences between perfectionist groupings on both the Idealization [F (2, 286) = 28.77, p < .001] and Superiority [F (2, 286) = 3.61, p < .05] scales. There was a larg e effect found for Idealization ( f2 = .46), but a small to medium effect size for Superiority ( f2 = .16). It is importa nt to note that the SGIS is scored in the direction where lower scores represent a more ma ladjusted self. The post hoc analysis showed that ma ladaptive and non-perfectionists scored significantly lower on Idealization than adaptive ( p <.001) and non-perfectionists ( p <.001). Maladaptive perfectionists scored significantly lower than non-perfectionists (p < .05) on Superiority. Defensiveness To m easure perfectionist group differences in global defensiveness, an ANOVA with MMPI-2 K-Scale scores as the dependent variable was conducted. Scores on this measure were converted into gender-based T-scores prior to analysis. The analysis shows a significant difference between perfectionists on defensiveness, F (2, 286) = 13.87, p < .001. The effect size for global defensiveness was moderate ( f2 = .33). Post hoc results showed that maladaptive perfectionists were generally less defensive than both adaptive ( p < .001) and non-perfectionists ( p < .001); however, there were no significant findings differentiating adaptive from nonperfectionists on global defensiveness. T-scores on defensiveness ranged from a mi nimum of 30 to a maximum of 79, with a mean score of 45.6. According to Graham (2006), Tscores on the K-scale equal to or greater than 65 are the most problematic and indicate defensiveness in nonclinical populations. The results of this study showed that 4 adaptive and 4 non-perfectionists scored in this range, whereas

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35 all maladaptive perfectionists sc ored between 30 and 56. It is im portant to note that on the MMPI-2, T-scores above 80 are considered extreme and can potentially invalidate a profile; this particular cut-off was not reached by any participant. Defense mechanisms used by participants in the different perfec tionist groupings were evaluated with ANOVAs, with DSQ subscale scores as the dependent variable. Results showed significant differences among perfec tionists on the three defense st yle groupings as well as 11 of the 20 specific defense mechanisms. Signifi cant differences were found among the groups on mature [F (2, 286) = 3.69, p < .05], immature [F (2, 286) = 15.62, p < .001], and neurotic [F (2, 286) = 6.09, p < .01] defense styles. The effect size f ound for the defense style groupings were small for mature ( f2 = .16), medium-large for immature ( f2 = .36), and medium for neurotic ( f2 = .22). More specifically, the post hoc analyses showed that adap tive perfectionists employ more mature defenses ( p < .001) whereas maladaptive perfectionists tend to have more neurotic defenses ( p < .01). Self-Concealment Group differences on self-concealm ent were analyzed using an ANOVA with SCS total score as the dependent variable. There was a significant difference among perfectionist groupings on self-concealment, F (2, 286) = 11.41, p < .001. A medium effect size was found for self-concealment (f2 = .30). The post hoc anal ysis showed that adaptiv e perfectionists scored significantly lower than maladaptive ( p < .001) and non-perfectionists ( p < .001). There were no significant differences between ma ladaptive and non-perfectionists. Psychological Distress Differences between perfectionists and non-pe rfectionists in psychological distress were tested using an ANOVA with the to tal score of the HSCL as the dependent variable. There were significant differences found among perfectionist gr oupings on scores of overall psychological

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36 distress, F (2, 286) = 14.60, p < .001. A large effect size was found for the overall level of psychological distress ( f2 = .35). The post hoc analysis found that maladaptive perfectionists reported significantly higher levels of overall di stress than adaptive and non-perfectionists ( p < .01). With the normalized data there was a difference between adaptive a nd non-perfectionists on distress that just meets the cr iteria for significance, suggesti ng that adaptive perfectionists experience less distress than non-perfectionists ( p = .05).

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37 Table 4-1. Sample means and standard deviations Measure Min. Max. M SD High Standards 20 49 41.376.17 Discrepancy 14 84 43.7414.27 Order 6 28 20.115.06 Goal Instability 0 60 38.939.23 Superiority 0 50 31.447.07 K-Scale T-Score 30 79 45.628.69 Mature 18 68 44.728.52 Immature 32 165 97.8019.63 Neurotic 8 64 39.699.20 SCS 0 48 27.188.57 HSCL 21 80 37.878.66 Note: HSCL = Hopkins Symptom Check list-21, SCS = Self-Concealment Scale

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38 Table 4-2. Scale correlations and reliability estimates Measure 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1. High Standards .87 2. Discrepancy .03 .93 3. Order .38** .02 .89 4. Goal Instability .37** -.49** .27**.85 5. Superiority -.10 -.04 -.07 .07 .77 6. K-Scale T-Score -.11 -.45** .00 .31** .09 .64 7. Mature .19** -.15 .13 .20** -.05 .13 .62 8. Immature -.10 .44** -.12 -.47** -.25** -.47** .01 .75 9. Neurotic .14 .18* .18* -.05 -.07 -.12 .34**.29**.58 10. SCS -.131 .37** -.13 -.35** -.01 -.40** -.12 .34**.04 .87 11. HSCL -.04 .48** .04 -.45** -.06 -.44** -.20**.42**.26** .43** .86 Note: HSCL = Hopkins Symptom Checklist-21, SCS = Self-Concealment Scale. Cronbachs coefficient alphas appear in italics on th e diagonal. p < .01. ** p < .001.

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39 Table 4-3. Sample means, standard deviations, and ANOVA results per group Maladaptive Perfectionists Adaptive Perfectionists NonPerfectionists Measure M SD M SD M SD F (2, 286) f2 High Standards 46.09 a 2.2345.72 a2.0635.75 b 4.74343.46*** 1.35 Discrepancy 57.13 a 11.6331.12 c6.6343.55 b 11.70121.83*** 1.01 Order 22.04 a 4.5221.02 a5.1818.34 b 4.7216.38*** .32 Goal Instability 36.77b 9.6044.94 a6.1436.45 b 8.9528.77*** .46 Superiority 29.82 b 7.3431.30 7.1432.52 a 6.713.61* .16 K-Scale T-Score 41.60 b 7.2648.16 a8.3046.45 a 8.9413.87*** .33 Mature 44.87 9.2646.65 a8.6443.41 b 7.773.69* .16 Immature 103.72 a 19.9688.23 b16.57100.26 a 19.1615.62*** .36 Neurotic 42.73 a 10.3038.31 b8.7938.72 b 8.366.09** .22 SCS 29.13 a 8.2423.49b8.0928.32 a 8.4211.41*** .30 HSCL 41.74a 9.4534.72 c7.3737.50 b 8.0614.60*** .35 Note: HSCL = Hopkins Symptom Checklist-21, SCS = Self-Concealment Scale. Means that were significantly different based on Bonferroni and Games-Howell post hoc analyses ar e indicated by different lettered subscripts. p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001.

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40 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to investigate defensive mechanisms utilized by different types of perfectionists. Previous research has shown that perfectionists have a general tendency to be defensive, however with only one aspect of defensiveness being measured, the authors called for further validation and exploration of the construct (Dickinson & Ashby, 2005). The main goal of the present study was to determine differences between types of perfectionists, compared to non-perfectionists, ac ross different conceptualizations of defensiveness. This study also investigated the relationshi p between perfectionism and a theory of self which may provide a strong interpretative background for the role of defensiveness. For the purposes of interpretation, it is important to note that the non-perfectionist comparison group does not act as a control group of normal partic ipants; they are grouped by simply not reporting high personal performance expectations and may be psyc hologically distressed in other ways. Regarding self psychology constructs, it was hypothesized that a newer measure of perfectionism would yield results similar to the previous study, maladaptive perfectionists would show more goal instability, and that both adapti ve and maladaptive perfectionists would have more superiority disruptions than non-perfectioni sts. This hypothesis was partially upheld with the results revealing that adap tive perfectionists endorse sign ificantly less goal instability compared to maladaptive and non-perfectionists; however this study did not find a significant difference between maladaptive and non-perfec tionists on this subscale. This finding demonstrates that maladaptive perfectionists ha ve more unmet idealization needs and thus are less adaptively adjusted to this construct than adap tive perfectionists, which is consistent with the findings of Rice and Dellwo (2002) and provides support for their findings with a newer measure

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41 of perfectionism. In addition, the results show that adaptive perfectionists are actually the most well-adjusted with this as pect of self psychology. The current study also found that maladaptiv e perfectionists were significantly more disrupted on superiority needs th an non-perfectionists. In contra st to Rice and Dellwo (2002), no significant difference in superi ority needs was found regarding adaptive perfectionists, although the trends do suggest superiority disruption similar to maladaptive perfectionists. When examining the descriptive statistics for the subscale s (see Table 4-1), again it can be seen that the mean scores of both maladaptive and adaptive pe rfectionists are lower th an non-perfectionists, however this difference is not significant. Th is would point to perfectionists being more disturbed in their selfobject needs, but th is conclusion is not statistically upheld. According to Robbins and Patton (1985), the higher scores on the Goal Instability subscale obtained from adaptive perfectionists sugge sts that they have a stronger sense of selfesteem than maladaptive and non-perfectionists, which is strengthened by creating attainable goals inspired by idealized figures. Conversel y, this may suggest that maladaptive and nonperfectionists do not have this sort of attachment to an ideal figure, have little direction for meeting goals, and possibly have a fear of committ ing to longer-term goals. The pattern of lower scores on the Superiority subscale from malada ptive perfectionists show they can become wrapped up in fantasies of grandiosity and fail to meet their standards, whereas adaptive and non-perfectionists have better se lf-esteem which may even be strengthened by meeting their standards. These interpretations are mostly rele vant for adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists because their high standards are excessively diffi cult to reach, compared to non-perfectionists who create more reasonable standards for themselves.

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42 The DSQ was used as a measure of defens iveness, specifically ego defenses. Although the scale measures 20 different defense mechanisms, the three main classifications of style were most important for this study. The research hypothes is stated that maladaptive perfectionists will display more problematic defensiveness than adaptiv e or non-perfectionists. Consistent with this hypothesis, results showed that maladaptive perf ectionists endorsed using more neurotic and immature defense styles, whereas adaptive perfectionists were more prone to mature styles. Dickinson and Ashby (2005) found similar results, however they did not find a relationship between neurotic defense styles and maladaptiv e perfectionism. The additional finding in the current study may actually be confirming of the negative qualities of maladaptive perfectionism, as the neurotic defense style is gene rally associated w ith psychopathology. Finding that maladaptive perfectionists tend to employ the most immature and neurotic defenses on the DSQ seems consistent with Kohuts self psychology framework in that perfectionistic tendencies may begin from cond itions early on in life in which problematic parent-child dynamics set the stage for the deve lopment of problematic neurotic and immature defensive structures. These defenses, in tur n, likely have a resounding effect on the persons approach to life, including the role they may play in the initiation a nd then management of maladaptive perfectionism. In other words, mala daptive perfectionism may develop from unmet and frustrated empathic needs during early childhood, these unmet needs trigger concerns about performance and critical self-evaluation (never feeli ng good-enough or worthy-enough for adequate parental responsiveness ), which in turn prompt the de velopment of largely tenuous and barely effectual defenses. Perhaps these defens es help explain the susceptibility maladaptive perfectionists have to psychological distress.

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43 Interestingly, and at first blush, seemingly contradicting inferences made above, results based on the MMPI-2 K-Scale scores showed that maladaptive perfectionists were significantly less likely to be defensive than adaptive and non-perfectionists. No other significant differences were found to suggest a hierarch ical structure of defensivene ss between the groups. Considering the nature of maladaptiv e perfectionism, results were expect ed to show that this type of perfectionist would have more defensive tendenc ies than adaptive or non-perfectionists. Since this finding is not consistent w ith the other measures of defe nsiveness in this study, further research needs to be conducted to investigate the relationship be tween different conceptions and degrees of defensiveness. With regards to the measures of defensivene ss used in this study, it is important to note the correlations between the measures (see Tabl e 4-2). It appears that the MMPI-2 K-Scale did not relate to the other variables in this study in the same direct ional as the other measures of defensiveness, especially the Self-Concealment Scale. According to research on the MMPI-2 cited by Graham (2006), there is the potential that the K-Scale may be a reflection of more positive characteristics such as psychological resiliency or ego strength. Related to this interpretation, there is the potential that the K-Scale wa s not a good measurement for a global defensiveness construct when taken out of the fu ll MMPI-2 context. In terms of this research, Grahams (2006) alternative inte rpretation of the K-Scale would provide further evidence for the adaptive style of perfectionism that is under debate in the literature. As another form of potential defensiven ess, the tendency to self-conceal negative information was also measured using the SCS. Consistent with the defensiveness prediction, it was hypothesized that both adaptive and malada ptive perfectionists w ould have a stronger tendency to self-conceal than non-perfectionists. Results showed that adaptive perfectionists

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44 were less likely to conceal information than ma ladaptive and non-perfectionists. No significant difference between maladaptive and non-perfec tionists was found, however the trend suggests that maladaptive perfectionist s may self-conceal the most. The mediator model used by Kawamura and Frost (2004) focused only on maladap tive perfectionists, and the results from this study support that decision. Although no empirical conclusions can be made comparing maladaptive to average non-perfectionists on th eir tendencies to self-conceal distressing information, the results at least show that malada ptive perfectionists self-c onceal more often than adaptive perfectionists. This information appears to be consistent with the concurrent finding that maladaptive perfectionists utilize more immature and neurotic defense styles. Another explanation for the results obtained about defensiveness may be that adaptive perfectionists prefer to be more open about their fa ilures and levels of dist ress. By disclosing this information, they are much more likely to receive feedback about self-c riticisms and a reality check that allows them to readjust their pe rsonal standards for performance. In contrast, maladaptive perfectionists may take less of a globa lly defensive approach to life, but when they do become defensive, they tend to use more imma ture defense styles such as self-concealment and never receive feedback about their performance and self-critici sms. It is also important to note the perplexity of maladaptive perfectionist s reporting more immature, neurotic, and selfconcealing defenses, yet they scored lower on glob al defensive tendencies. This combination of results may mean that although maladaptive perfec tionists have more maladaptive defenses, they are less likely to use them; however this could al so be an indication that the MMPI-2 K-Scale is not an appropriate measure for this application. Considering the type of constructs resear ched in this study, it was hypothesized that maladaptive perfectionists would report higher levels of psychological dist ress than adaptive and

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45 non-perfectionists. The result showed this to be an accurate prediction and provides continued support for the notion that perfectionistic quali ties can contain psychologically disruptive components. The finding that maladaptive perfecti onists have more feelin gs of distress and ruminate over performance issues is confirming th at these are concerns at the core of more maladaptive perfectionism, and adaptiv e perfectionism to a lesser degree. Implications of Results Results of this study have provided f urt her empirical support for the roles of defensiveness and self-concealment in perfect ionism. The results show that maladaptive perfectionists employ defenses that are immature and neurotic, which is more aligned with the maladaptive qualities of maladaptive perfectio nism. The MMPI-2 K-Scale shows maladaptive perfectionists being less defensive than adaptive and non-perfectionists, however this is likely unrelated to the aforementioned defense styles. Although maladaptive perfectionists have a lesser tendency towards global defensiveness, they ar e also actually more likely to self-conceal potentially distressing personal information. Releva nt to clinical setti ngs, these qualities may help explain why maladaptive pe rfectionists are less successful w ith psychotherapy since they are not inclined to disclose their distress, as well as employ immature and neurotic defenses when challenged. With such a strong denial of issues relevant to perfectionism, it is more apparent as to why maladaptive perfectionists rare ly initiate therapy for these concerns (Blatt, 1995). With further support for the relationship between perfectionism and self psychology constructs, it may be important fo r a therapist in a counseling sett ing to dedicate some focus to childhood relationships and interact ions. It would appear that maladaptive perfectionists in particular have the most disrupted selfobject need s, which as previously mentioned is related to unmet empathic needs. Based on an article about applying self psychology to counseling, a

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46 therapist then could concentrate on providing a therapeutic environment that is more sensitive to offering a corrective experience with empathic reflection, unconditional positive regard for those needs, and a focus on the defensive strategies and compensatory structures that defend the defective area (Patton & Robbins, 1982). Limitations and Future Directions A m ain limitation of this study is the ge neralizability of results to non-student populations. All participants were college students, and the dem ographics were not entirely representative of the general popu lation; however, these results may be very applicable to other college students. As previously mentioned, the non-perfectionist grouping may contain participants that are ps ychologically distressed, just not in the realm of pe rfectionistic standards. Considering the unknown factors involved with this group, and the appearance of high Discrepancy scores on the APS-R, it may be impo rtant to investigate a nd describe this group more accurately rather than assume non-perf ectionists serve as a healthy comparison group. Models of perfectionism are based on data from mostly White/Euro-American men and women; however, perfectionism as a construct ha s been translated across cultures without much cultural conflict with its conceptu alization. The cross-cultural valid ity of perfectionism has been extended to African-American (Mobley, Slane y, & Rice, 2005), Asian-American (Chang, 1998), Japanese (Sumi & Kanda, 2002), and Asian-In dian students (Slaney, Chadha, Mobley, & Kennedy, 2000). In most studies on the multicultural applicability of perfectionism, differences were found in each cultures idea of the construct, namely what is important within that culture to be worthy of perfection. For example, Slaney et al. (2000) found that w ithin the Asian-Indian culture, perfectionism is interpreted relative to beliefs of karma, re incarnation, and nirvana. These studies have demonstrated that current measures of perfectionism allow for an open

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47 interpretation of perfectionism as it relates to the individuals values and are not restricted to academic performance. As a psychodynamic theory, self psychology ha s limited applicability across cultures. Kohuts theory is based more on Western culture and philosophy, so the idea of self may not translate well or similarly to other cultures. The literature has shown this is particularly true of collectivist societies where any focus on the se lf is undesirable and only accentuates social isolation (Kozuki & Kennedy, 2004; Kitayama, 1992). Items on the SGIS measure of self psychological constructs do not appear to be outwardly culturally biased; however the questions are self-focused, which may be problematic for less individualistic resp ondents. It will be necessary to determine the cu ltural relevancy of psychodynamic theory, self psychology theory, and the SGIS questionnaire in future studies. One di rection to consider is a shift towards identity and cultural identity development. Humans are cu ltural beings, so the area of cultural identity development may be more appropriate and is important to investigate as it relates to perfectionism and self psychology. It is also impor tant to note that Kohut s conception of self psychology is strictly a theore tical foundation for this study because of the interconnections between perfectionism, defensiveness, and psychological distress that are built into the theory. While this relationship is very convenient for th is study, the theory of se lf psychology itself still needs more empirical support in order to draw developmental conclusions about perfectionism. The Defense Styles Questionnaire is a measure of ego defense styles which has roots in psychodynamic theory. As previously mentioned, th is limits the cross-cultural applicability of this construct. However, an assessment of defe nsiveness from the MMPI-2 has been shown to be valid across different cultures (Butcher, 2004). Although no simila r research has been conducted with self-concealment, this construct has a close relationship to other types of global

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48 defensiveness that have demonstrated cross-cultur al validity such as soci al desirability (Ghei, 1973). The cultural relevancy of defensiveness and self-concealment still needs to be determined. The DSQ, MMPI-2 K-Scale, and SCS are all meas ures of different types of defensiveness, which was reflected with consiste nt results about the more disr uptive defenses of maladaptive perfectionists. However, it was found that maladaptive perfectionists actu ally scored lower on the global measure of defensiveness, even though they were shown to have more immature styles. One explanation could be that maladaptive perfecti onists do in fact have more maladaptive defense styles, but they do not utiliz e them very often. It is also important to consider that this combination of measures ma y not be the most appropriate to assess these constructs, which future studies will need to investigate. The measures used in this study provide in teresting associations between dependent variable scores and perfectionism categories, however they do not pr ovide clear clinical guidance. For example, higher scores on the Self -Concealment Scale relate to a higher tendency to conceal negative or distressing information, but there are no guidelines th at indicate at what level of responding self-concealment becomes problematic. The same issue can be applied to the HSCL, K-Scale (though somewhat clearer interpretiv e rules exist with MMPI-2 scales overall), and SGIS. Recognizing this conceptual issue w ith the measures raises questions about the limitations of results, but also calls for furthe r research into the ps ychometric properties and clinical utility of these scales. There is also the common limitation associated with using self-report measures which are open to the possible misinterpretat ions of participants and regiona l biases. This study is based on a correlational design, so the re sults must be carefully interp reted. The implied direction of effects in this study is one of se veral possibilities and limits the ab ility to draw causal inferences.

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49 For example, the hypothesized direction is that se lf psychological issues lead to perfectionism which results in defensiveness and higher psychological distress; however it may also be that self psychological issues lead to defensiveness and psychological distress which acts as precursors to perfectionism. Future studies may investigate si milar constructs with varying populations and designs that would help addr ess concerns regarding inte rnal and external validity. As previously mentioned, the results of this study say more about what type of defenses perfectionists tend to employ, but the tendency an d frequency to use them is unclear. The MMPI2 K-Scale may be tapping this dimension but furt her research needs to be conducted in order to make this determination. With the knowledge about specific defenses that perfectionists use and the unexpected finding that more maladaptive perfectionists are actually lower on global defensiveness, future studies may want to focus on the frequency, intensity, duration, and onset of those mechanisms. A better understanding for the inner workings of these defenses can come from attempting to elicit and manipulate defensive responding. Conclusions The results of this study have shown conti nued support for the self psychology constructs as applied to perfectionism. Although the ba sis of this psychodynamic framework is predominantly theoretical, insight into the inne r workings and developm ent of perfectionistic tendencies can still be gained. By adding in the concurrent finding that maladaptive perfectionists are more psychological ly distressed, we can see that there is certainly some form of disruption in their lives that needs to be studied and addressed. Embedded into Kohuts self psychology theory are aspects of defensiveness that map on well to the more maladaptive qualities of perf ectionism. When these co nstructs are measured across the different groupings of perfectionist s we see that perfectionists, specifically maladaptive perfectionists, are inclined to em ploy these problematic defenses. The degree and

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50 frequency of which these are actually utilized is still unclear and requires a closer look. As researchers and clinicians we are taking steps towards a fuller understanding of perfectionism, but there is still a lot to learn about the development of the issue and what barriers need to be broken down for successful treatment.

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51 APPENDIX A DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE 1. Please circle the number next to your gender: (1) MALE (2) FEMALE 2. How old are you? years 3. Please circle the number next to your Race/Ethni city or please describe the specific group that you identify with the most in the blank next to your ethnicity (for example, Chinese American, German, Navajo, Alaskan Aleut): (1) Asian or Asian-American (2) Black, African-American (3) Hispanic, Latino, Mexican-American (4) Pacific Islander (5) Native American or American Indian (6) White, European American (7) Multicultural Mixed Race (8) Other, please specify 4. How many official orga nizations are you involved with at school (for example, clubs, athletics, fr aternities/sororities, etc.)? organizations 5. Please circle the number next to your current living situation while attending UF: (1) live on campus in a residence hall (2) live in a fraternity or sorority (3) live off-campus in an apartment or house (includes Married Student Housing) (4) live off-campus with parent(s) (5) cooperative house 6. Please circle the number next to your college: (1) Agricultural & Life Sciences (10) Journalism & Communications (2) Business Admini stration (11) Law (3) Dentistry (12) Liberal Arts & Sciences (4) Design, Construction, & Pla nning (13) Medicine (5) Education (14) Natural Resources & Environment (6) Engineering (15) Nursing (7) Fine Arts (16) Pharmacy (8) Health Professions (17) Veterinary Medicine (9) Health & Human Performance (18) Undecided, Undeclared 7. How many semesters have you completed at UF? (dont count the current semester, put 0 if you are a first semester student) ____ UF Semesters 8. How many semesters of colle ge have you completed altogether (at UF or elsewhere)? Total Semesters 9. Please indicate your undergradua te Grade Point Average: (skip this if you dont have a GPA yet) GPA (4.0 scale)

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52 APPENDIX B ALMOST PERFECT SCALE REVISED The following item s are designed to measure certa in attitudes people have toward themselves, their performance, and toward others. It is impor tant that your answers be true and accurate for you. In the space next to the statement, please se lect a number from "1" (strongly disagree) to "7" (strongly agree) to describe your degree of agreement with each item. STRONGLY DISAGREE 1 DISAGREE 2 SLIGHTLY DISAGREE 3 NEUTRAL 4 SLIGHTLY AGREE 5 AGREE 6 STRONGLY AGREE 7 _____ 1. I have high standards for my pe rformance at work or at school. _____ 2. I am an orderly person. _____ 3. I often feel frustrated be cause I cant meet my goals. _____ 4. Neatness is important to me. _____ 5. If you dont expect much out of yourself you will never succeed. _____ 6. My best just never se ems to be good enough for me. _____ 7. I think things should be put away in their place. _____ 8. I have high expectations for myself. _____ 9. I rarely live up to my high standards. _____ 10. I like to always be organized and disciplined. _____ 11. Doing my best never seems to be enough. _____ 12. I set very high standards for myself. _____ 13. I am never satisfied with my accomplishments. _____ 14. I expect the best from myself. _____ 15. I often worry about not measuring up to my own expectations. _____ 16. My performance rarely measures up to my standards. _____ 17. I am not satisfied even when I know I have done my best. _____ 18. I am seldom able to meet my own high standards for performance. _____ 19. I try to do my best at everything I do. _____ 20. I am hardly ever satisfied with my performance. _____ 21. I hardly ever feel that what Ive done is good enough. _____ 22. I have a strong need to strive for excellence. _____ 23. I often feel disappointment after comple ting a task because I know I could have done better. _____ 24. Using the scale above, please rate th e degree to which you agree that you are perfectionistic.

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53 APPENDIX C SUPERIORITY AND GOAL INSTABILITY SCALES The following item s measure attitudes about yoursel f. Please select a number from (strongly agree) to (strongly disagr ee) to describe your degree of agreement with each item. STRONGLY AGREE 1 MODERATELY AGREE 2 SLIGHTLY AGREE 3 SLIGHTLY DISAGREE 4 MODERATELY DISAGREE 5 STRONGLY DISAGREE 6 1. Its easier for me to start than to finish projects 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. I wonder where my life is headed... 1 2 3 4 5 6 3. I dont seem to make decisions by myself.. 1 2 3 4 5 6 4. I dont seem to have the drive to get my work done.. 1 2 3 4 5 6 5. I lose my sense of direction... 1 2 3 4 5 6 6. I have more ideas than energy... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I dont seem to get going on anything important. .. 1 2 3 4 5 6 8. After a while, I lose sigh t of my goals 1 2 3 4 5 6 9. I have confusion about who I am... 1 2 3 4 5 6 10. Its hard to find a reason for working. 1 2 3 4 5 6 11. My friends follow my lead. 1 2 3 4 5 6 12. I deserve favors from others.. 1 2 3 4 5 6 13. Im witty and charming with others... 1 2 3 4 5 6 14. My looks are one of the things that attract others to me 1 2 3 4 5 6 15. I could show up my friends if I wanted to. 1 2 3 4 5 6 16. Running the show means a lot to me.. 1 2 3 4 5 6 17. Being admired by others helps me feel fantastic 1 2 3 4 5 6 18. Achieving out of the ordinary accomplishments would make me feel complete.... 1 2 3 4 5 6 19. I catch myself wanting to be a hero... 1 2 3 4 5 6 20. I know that I have more natural talents than most. 1 2 3 4 5 6

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54 APPENDIX D MMPI-2 K-SCALE Read each statem ent and decide whether it is Tr ue as applied to you or False as applied to you. Please indicate your answer by se lecting True or False be su re to answer every question. 1. At times I feel like swearing 2. At times I feel like smashing things 3. I think a great many people exaggerate their misfortunes in order to gain the sympathy and help of others 4. It takes a lot of argument to convince most peopl e of the truth 5. I have very few quarrels with members of my family 6. Most people will use somewhat unfair means to ga in profit or an advantage rather than to lose it 7. Often I cant understand why I have been so irritable and grouchy 8. At times my thoughts have races ahea d faster than I could speak them 9. Criticism or scolding hurts me terribly 10. I certainly feel useless at times 11. It makes me impatient to have people ask my advice or otherwise interrupt me when I am working on something important 12. I have never felt better in my life than I do now 13. What others think of me does not bother me 14. It makes me uncomfortable to put on a stunt at a party even when others are doing the same sort of things 15. I find it hard to make talk when I meet new people 16. I am against giving money to beggars 17. I frequently find myself worrying about something 18. I get mad easily and then get over it soon 19. When in a group of people I have trouble thi nking of the right things to talk about 20. I have periods in which I feel unusually cheerful without any special reason 21. I think nearly anyone would tell a lie to keep out of trouble 22. I worry over money and business 23. At times I am all full of energy 24. People often disappoint me 25. I have sometimes felt that difficulties were piling up so high that I could not overcome them 26. At periods my mind seems to work more slowly than usual 27. I have often m et people who were supposed to be experts who were no better than I 28. I often think, I wish I were a child again 29. I find it hard to set aside a task that I have undertaken, even for a short time 30. I like to let people know where I stand on things

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55 APPENDIX E DEFENSE STYLES QUESTIONNAIRE This questionnaire consists of a number of statem ents about personal attitudes. There are no right or wrong answers. Using the 9-point scale shown be low, please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each statement by selec ting one of the numbers on the scale beside the statement. STRONGLY DISAGREE 1 DISAGREE 2 MODERATELY DISAGREE 3 SLIGHTLY DISAGREE 4 NEUTRAL 5 SLIGHTLY AGREE 6 MODERATELY AGREE 7 AGREE 8 STRONGLY AGREE 9 1. I get satisfaction from helping others and if this were taken away from me I would get depressed. 2. I am able to keep a problem out of my mind until I have time to deal with it. 3. I work out my anxiety through doing somethi ng constructive and creative like painting or wood-work. 4. I am able to find good reasons for everything I do. 5. I am able to laugh at myself pretty easily. 6. People tend to mistreat me. 7. If something mugged me and stole my money, Id rather he be helped than punished. 8. People say I tend to ignore unpleasant facts as if they didnt exist. 9. I ignore danger as if I was Superman. 10. I pride myself on my ability to cut people down to size. 11. I often act impulsively when something is bothering me. 12. I get physically ill when thi ngs arent going well for me. 13. Im a very inhibited person. 14. I get more satisfaction from my fant asies than from my real life. 15. I have special talents that allow me to go through life with no problems. 16. There are always good reasons when things dont work out for me. 17. I work more things out in my daydreams than in my real life. 18. I fear nothing. 19. Sometimes I think Im an angel and other times I think Im a devil. 20. I get openly aggressive when I feel hurt. 21. I always feel that someone I know is like a guardian angel. 22. As far as Im concerned, people are either good or bad. 23. If my boss bugged me, I might make a mistake in my work or work more slowly so as to get back at him. 24. There is someone I know who can do anything and who is absolutely fair and just. 25. I can keep the lid on my feelings if letting them out would interfer e with what Im doing.

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56 26. Im usually able to see the funny side of an otherwise painful predicament. 27. I get a headache when I have to do something I dont like. 28. I often find myself being very nice to peopl e who by all rights I should be angry at. 29. I am sure I get a raw deal from life. 30. When I have to face a difficult situation I tr y to imagine what it will be like and plan ways to cope with it. 31. Doctors never really understand what is wrong with me. 32. After I fight for my rights, I tend to apologize for my assertiveness. 33. When Im depressed or anxious, eating makes me feel better. 34. Im often told that I dont show my feelings. 35. If I can predict that Im going to be sad ahead of time, I can cope better. 36. No matter how much I complain, I never get a satisfactory response. 37. Often I find that I dont feel anything when the situation would seem to warrant strong emotions. 38. Sticking to the task at hand keeps me from feeling depressed or anxious. 39. If I were in a crisis, I would seek ou t another person who had the same problem. 40. If I have an aggressive thought, I feel the need to do something to compensate for it.

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57 APPENDIX F SELF-CONCEALMENT SCALE Please answ er the following questions truthfully and accurately as they apply to you. In the space next to the statement, please select a number from 1 (strongly disa gree) to 5 (strongly agree) to describe your degree of agreement with each item. STRONGLY DISAGREE 1 DISAGREE 2 NEUTRAL 3 AGREE 4 STRONGLY AGREE 5 _____ 1. I have an important secret that I havent shared with anyone. _____ 2. If I shared all my secrets with my friends, theyd like me less. _____ 3. There are lots of things about me that I keep to myself. _____ 4. Some of my secrets ha ve really tormented me. _____ 5. When something bad happens to me, I tend to keep it to myself. _____ 6. Im often afraid Ill reveal something I dont want to. _____ 7. Telling a secret often backfire s and I wish I hadnt told it. _____ 8. I have a secret that is so private I would lie if anybody asked me about it. _____ 9. My secrets are too embarrassing to share with others. _____ 10. I have negative thoughts about my self that I never share with anyone.

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58 APPENDIX G HOPKINS SYMPTOM CHECKLIST 21 How have you felt during the past seven days including today? Use th e following scale to describe how distressing you have found these things over this time. NOT AT ALL 1 A LITTLE 2 QUITE A BIT 3 EXTREMELY 4 _____ 1. Difficulty in speaking when you are excited _____ 2. Trouble remembering things _____ 3. Worried about sloppiness or carelessness _____ 4. Blaming yourself for things _____ 5. Pains in the lower part of your back _____ 6. Feeling lonely _____ 7. Feeling blue _____ 8. Your feelings being easily hurt _____ 9. Feeling others do not unders tand you or are unsympathetic _____ 10. Feeling that people ar e unfriendly or dislike you _____ 11. Having to do things very slowly in order to be sure you are doing them right _____ 12. Feeling inferior to others _____ 13. Soreness of your muscles _____ 14. Having to check and double-check what you do _____ 15. Hot or cold spells _____ 16. Your mind going blank _____ 17. Numbness or tingling in parts of your body _____ 18. A lump in your throat _____ 19. Trouble concentrating _____ 20. Weakness in parts of your body _____ 21. Heavy feelings in your arms and legs

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59 APPENDIX H ONLINE INFORMED CONSENT Dear Student: The purpose of this study is to m easure some pers onal characteristics. Participation in this study involves a set of questionnaires that takes approximately 30 mi nutes to complete. You do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. No compensation is being offered for involvement in this study. There are no known risks involved in completing the study and many students may find that they learn something about themselves from participati ng in this research. None theless, if being part of the study makes you feel uncom fortable, you may consider speak ing to a counselor who may be able to help you with your reactions. You can contact a couns elor through the University of Florida Counseling Center (P301 Peabody Hall, 3 92-1575). You may benefit by participating in this study through increased awareness and self-u nderstanding. You will also be contributing to knowledge regarding researchers ability to understand personality. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your responses on the questionnaires will be assigned a code number and your name will not be used in any report. You can only participate if you are 18 years of age, or older. Your partic ipation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating and you have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. If you have any questions about this re search, you may contact David Hannah at joeyh@ufl.edu or (352) 359-5889, or Dr. Kenneth Rice at kgr1@ufl.edu or (352) 392-0601 ext. 246. Any questions or concerns ab out your rights as a research partic ipant m ay be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL, 32611; or by phone at (352) 3920433. Thank you for your time. I sincerely apprecia te your involvement in this research. By typing your name below, you agree that you have read the procedur e described above and voluntarily agree to participate in the study. You may print this page for your own records if you wish.

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60 REFERENCE LIST Aldea, M. A. & Rice, K. G. (2006). The role of emotional dysregulati on in perfectionism and psychological distress. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53 498-510. American Psychiatri c Association (2003). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Fourth edition-text revised) Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Andrews, G., Singh, M., & Bond, M. (1993) The defense style questionnaire. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 181, 246-256. Ashby, J. S., Rice, K. G., & Martin, J. L. (2006). Perfectionism, shame, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Counseling and Development, 84 148-156. Blatt, S. J. (1995). The dest ructiveness of perfectionism. American Psychologist, 50 1003-1020. Bond, M., Gardner, S. T., Christian, J., & Sieg al, J. J. (1983). Empiri cal study of self-rated defense styles. Archives of General Psychiatry, 40, 333-338. Bushman, B. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (1998). Thre atened egotism, narcissism, self-esteem, and direction and displaced aggres sion: Does self-love or se lf-hate lead to violence? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75 1-12. Butcher, J. N. (2004). Personality assessment w ithout borders: Adaptation of the MMPI-2 across cultures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 83 90-104. Butcher, J. N., Dahlstrom, W. G., Graham J. R., Tellegen, A., & Kaemmer, B. (1989). MMPI-2: Manual for administration and scoring. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Cepeda-Benito, A., & Short, P. (1998). Self-concealment, avoidance of psychological services, and perceived likelihood of seeking professional help. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 45, 58-64. Chandler, L. A., & Gallagher, R. P. (1996). Developing a taxonomy for problems seen at a university counseling center. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 29 4-12. Chang, E. C. (1998). Cultural differences, perf ectionism, and suicidal risk in a college population: Does social pr oblem solving still matter? Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22, 237-254. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112 155-159.

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61 Cooper, S. H. (1992). The empirical study of defens ive processes: A review. In: Boston, J. W, Eagle, M. N., Wolitzky, D. L. (Eds.): Interface of Psychoanalysis and Psychology Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Cramer, P. (1991). The development of defense mechanisms: Theory, research, and assessment New York: Springer. Dickinson, W. L., & Ashby, J. S. (2005). Multid imensional perfectionism and ego defenses. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 19 41-54. Eldridge, A., & Finnican, M. ( 1985). Applications of self psyc hology to the problem of child abuse. Clinical Social Work Journal, 13, 50-61. Ferrari, J. R. (1992). Procrastinator s and perfect behavior: An explor atory factor analysis of selfpresentation, self-awareness, a nd self-handicapping components. Journal of Research in Personality, 26 75-84. Flett, G. L., & Hewitt, P. L. (2004). Dimensions of perfectionism and anxiety sensitivity. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 22 39-57. Frost, R. O., Marten, P. A., Lahart, C., & Rosenblate, R. (1990). The dimensions of perfectionism. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 14 449-468. Ghei, S. N. (1973). A cross-cultural comparison of the soci al desirability variable. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 4 493-500. Graham, J. R. (2006). MMPI-2: Assessing personality and psychopathology (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. Graham, J. R., Watts, D., & Timbrook, R. E. (1991). Detecting fake-good and fake-bad MMPI-2 profiles. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57 264-277. Green, D. E., Walkey, F. H., McCormick, I. A., & Taylor, A. J. (1988). Development and evaluation of a 21-item version of the Hopki ns Symptom Checklist with New Zealand and United States respondents. Australian Journal of Psychology, 40 61-70. Hamachek, D. E. (1978). Psychodynamics of normal and Neurotic perfectionism. Psychology, 15, 27-33. Harwood, I. H. (1983). The application of se lf psychology concepts to group psychotherapy. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 33 469-487. Hewitt, P. L., & Flett, G. L. (1991a). Dime nsion of perfectionism in unipolar depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100 98-101.

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62 Hewitt, P. L., & Flett, G. L. (1991b). Perfec tionism in the self and social contexts: Conceptualization, assessment, a nd association with psychopathology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60 456-470. Hewitt, P. L., & Flett, G. L. (2003). The interper sonal expression of perfection: Perfectionistic self-presentation and psychological distress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1303-1325. Hewitt, P. L., Flett, G. L., Sherry, S. B., Habke, M., Parkin, M., La m, R. W., McMurty, B., Ediger, E., Fairlie, P., & Stein, M. B. (2003). The interperso nal expression of perfectionism: Perfectionistic self-p resentation and psychological distress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84 1303-1325. Horney, K. (1939). New ways in psychoanalysis New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Ichiyama, M. A., Colbert, D., Laramore, H., He im, M., Carone, K., & Schmidt, J. (1993). Selfconcealment and correlates of adjustment in college students. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 7 55-68. Kawamura, K. Y., & Frost, R. O. (2004). Self-concealment as a mediator in the relationship between perfectionism and psychological distress. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 28 183-191. Kitayama, S. (1992). Some thoughts on the cognitive-psychodynamic self from a cultural perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 3 44-41. Kohut, H. (1971). The analysis of the self New York: International Universities Press. Kohut, H. (1977). The restoration of the self New York: International Universities Press. Kohut, H., & Wolf, E. S. (1978). The disorders of the self and their tr eatment: An outline. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59, 413-425. Kozuki, Y. & Kennedy, M. G. (2004). Cultu ral incommensurability in psychodynamic psychotherapy in western and Japanese traditions. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 36 30-38. Larson, D. G., & Chastain, R. L. (1990). Self-concealment: Conceptualization, measurement, and health implications. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 9 439-455. Lim, J., & Butcher, J. N. (1996). Detection of faking on the MMPI-2: Differentiation among faking-bad, denial, and cl aiming extreme virtue. Journal of Personality Assessment, 67 1-25. Lynch, V. J. (1988). Self psychology: Its applic ation to brief psychothe rapy with the elderly. Journal of Geriatric Psychology, 21 127-132.

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63 Mills, J., & Blankstein, K. R. (2000). Perfec tionism, intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation, and motivated strategies for learning: A multidimensional analysis of university students. Personality and Individual Differences, 29 1191-1204. Mobley, M., Slaney, R. B., & Rice, K. G. (2005). Cultural validity of the Almost Perfect Scale Revised for African American college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52 629-639. Nadler, A. (1983). Personal char acteristics and help-seeking. In Depaulo, B. M., Nadler, A., & Fisher, J. D. (Eds.): New Directions in Help-Seeking: Vol. 2 Help-seeking. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. OConnor, R. C. & OConnor, D. B. (2003). Predicting hopelessness and psychological distress: The role of perfectionism and coping. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50 362-372. Pacht, A. R. (1984). Reflections on perfectionism. American Psychologist, 39 386-390. Patton, M. J., & Meara, N. M. (1996). Kohut and counseling: Applications of self psychology. Psychodynamic Counseling, 2 328-355. Patton, M. J., & Robbins, S. B. (1982). Kohuts se lf psychology as a model for college-student counseling. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 13 876-888. Patton, M. J., & Sullivan, J. J. (1980). Heinz Kohut and the classical psychoanalytic tradition: An analysis in terms of levels of explanation. Psychoanalytic Review, 67 365-388. Perry, J. C. (1990). The Defense Mechanisms Rating Scales (5th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Hospital. Perry, J. C. (1993). Defenses and their effects. In : Miller, N. E., Luborsky, L., Barber, J. P., & Docherty, J. P. (Eds.): Psychodynamic Treatment Research New York, NY: Basic Books. Preusser, K. J., Rice, K. G., & Ashby, J. S. (1994). The role of self-esteem in mediating the perfectionism-depression connection. Journal of College Student Development, 35 8893. Rice, K. G., Aldea, M. A., & Hannah, D. J. (2006). Does it help or hurt to write about perfectionism? A study of expressive writing and depression Unpublished manuscript, University of Florida. Rice, K. G., & Ashby, J. S. (2007). An effici ent method for classifying perfectionists. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 72-85. Rice, K. G., & Dellwo, J. P. (2002). Perfectioni sm and self-development: Implications for college adjustment. Journal of Counseling and Development, 80 188-196.

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64 Rice, K. G., & Lapsley, D. K. (2001). Perf ectionism, coping, and emotional adjustment. Journal of College Student Development, 42 157-168. Rice, K. G., & Lopez, F. G. (2004). Maladap tive perfectionism, adult attachment, and selfesteem in college students. Journal of College Counseling, 7 118-128. Rice, K. G., & Slaney, R. B. (2002). Clusters of perfectionists: Two studies of emotional adjustment and academic achievement. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 35 35-48. Ritz, T., & Dahme, B. (1996). Repression, self-concealment and rationality/emotional defensiveness: The correspondence between th ree questionnaire measures of defensive coping. Personality and Individual Differences, 20 95-102. Robbins, S. B., & Patton, M. J. (1985). Self psychology and career development: Construction of the Superiority and Goal Instability scales. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32 221-231. Slaney, R. B., Ashby, J. S., & Trippi, J. T. ( 1995). Perfectionism: Its measurement and career relevance. Journal of Career Assessment, 3 279-297. Slaney, R. B., Chadha, N., Mobley, M., & Kennedy, S. (2000). Perfectionism in Asian Indians: Exploring the meaning of the construct in India. The Counseling Psychologist, 28 10-31. Slaney, R. B., Rice, K. G., Mobley, M., Trippi, J. T., & Ashby, J. S. (2001). The Almost Perfect Scale-Revised. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 34, 130145. Sorotzkin, B. (1985). The quest for perfectio n: Avoiding guilt or avoiding shame? Psychotherapy, 22 564-571. Sumi, K. & Kanda, K. (2002). Relationship between neurotic perfectionism, depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic symptoms: A perspective study among Japanese men. Personality and Individual Differences, 32 817-826. Tabachnick, B. G. & Fidell, L. S. (2001). Using multivariate statistics (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Vaillant, G. E. (1992). The struggle for empirical assessment of defenses. In: Vaillant, G. E. (Ed.): Ego Mechanisms of Defense Washington DC: Ameri can Psychiatric Press. Wetter, M. W., Baer, R. A., Berry, D. T. R ., Robison, L. H., & Sumpter, J. (1993). MMPI-2 profiles of motivated fakers given specifi c symptom information: A comparison to matched patients. Psychological Assessment, 5 317-323.

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65 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH David Joseph Hannah was born Novem ber 26, 1983 in Washington D.C. He graduated cum laude from the University of Florida in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in general education. David was admitte d to the University of Florida Counseling Psychology doctoral program in 2006, and hopes to earn his Ph.D. within the next few years. His current academic pursuits include the study of perfectionism, defensiveness, suicide, and therapeutic interventions. His clinical work is focused on providing counseling services for college students, children/adolescents, a nd crisis interventi on/suicide prevention.