Social disconnection and hazardous drinking mediate the link between perfectionistic attitudes and depressive symptoms

According to the perfectionism social disconnection model (PSDM), perfectionism leads to social disconnection (e.g., isolation, loneliness, and alienation) which brings about depressive symptoms. The present study extended the PSDM by testing a dual-pathway mediation model wherein social disconnection and hazardous drinking were hypothesized to explain why perfectionistic attitudes (e.g., intense self-criticism, evaluative concerns, and unrealistic goal-setting) result in depressive symptoms. A sample of 216 college students participated. The present study utilized a cross-sectional  design and self-report questionnaires. The hypothesized model fit the data well, with social disconnection and hazardous drinking mediating the perfectionistic attitudes-depressive symptoms link. Students high in perfectionistic attitudes report feeling isolated, lonely, and alienated. To escape this powerful sense of not belonging, these students turn to alcohol in a self-destructive way. Suffering from the ill effects of social disconnection and hazardous drinking, students high in perfectionistic attitudes are vulnerable to depressive symptoms.