Perfectionism explains variance in self-defeating behaviors beyond self-criticism: Evidence from a cross-national sample

Does perfectionism predict maladjustment beyond self-criticism? Attention to this key question is needed as some studies suggest perfectionism may not explain variance in maladjustment beyond self-criticism. Using a large cross-national sample of 524 undergraduates (229 Canadian, 295 British), this study examined whether evaluative concerns perfectionism (socially prescribed perfectionism, concern over mistakes, doubts about actions) explained variance in self-defeating behaviors (binge eating, procrastination, interpersonal conflict) after controlling for self-criticism. Results showed thatafter controlling for self-criticismconcern over mistakes predicted binge eating, doubts about actions predicted procrastination, and socially prescribed perfectionism and concern over mistakes predicted interpersonal conflict. Self-criticism also uniquely predicted self-defeating behaviors beyond evaluative concerns perfectionism. The relationships that evaluative concerns perfectionism shows with self-defeating behaviors appear neither redundant with nor fully captured by selfcriticism. Results dovetail with theoretical accounts suggesting evaluative concerns perfectionism is a uniquely important part of the personality of people prone to self-defeating behaviors