The relationship between perfectionism, agency, and communion: A longitudinal mixed methods analysis

Theory suggests perfectionists are inordinately motivated by agentic concerns (status, power, achievement, and self-mastery) and have deficits in communal domains (friendship, support, togetherness, and mutual dialogue). Emerging adults transitioning to university participated in a 2-wave, 130-day longitudinal design with quantitative and qualitative components. Participants completed questionnaire measures of perfectionism, and themes of agency and communion were coded from autobiographical narratives. Perfectionism was positively correlated with agency (especially status/victory subthemes) and uncorrelated with communion. Perfectionistic concerns and perfectionism cognitions were the most with performance, self-control, dominance, and being recognized for achievements. Hypotheses regarding communion were unsupported, suggesting a need to develop coding schemes focused on social disconnection.