The existential model of perfectionism and depressive symptoms: Testing a moderated mediation model in community adults using a one-month twowave longitudinal design

The existential model of perfectionism and depressive symptoms (EMPDS) posits difficulties accepting the past (i.e., viewing past experiences as incoherent, dissatisfying, and meaningless) explains when and why socially prescribed perfectionism (i.e., perceiving others as requiring perfection of the self) confers risk for depressive symptoms. However, excessive use of cross-sectional designs, an over-reliance on undergraduate samples, and a lack of research testing moderated mediation have limited understanding of the EMPDS. We addressed these limitations by conducting the first longitudinal moderated mediation test of the EMPDS in community adults (N = 265). Congruent with the EMPDS, results revealed socially prescribed perfectionism indirectly predicted increased depressive symptoms one-month later through difficulties accepting the past and that socially prescribed perfectionism moderated this indirect effect. Overall, findings lend credence and coherence to the EMPDS and suggest that socially prescribed perfectionism both generates difficulties accepting the past and
intensifies the influence that these difficulties have on depressive symptoms.