Trait perfectionism and perfectionistic self-presentation in personality pathology

Perfectionism is a vulnerability factor for distress that is considered either a form of personality pathology (PP) per se or an associated feature of PP. This study investigated trait perfectionism, perfectionistic self-presentation, and PP using two large samples and two leading models of PP (see APA, 1994; Livesley, Jackson, & Schroeder, 1992). Perceiving perfectionistic demands from others, promoting a perfect image to others, and concealing perceived imperfections from others were positively correlated with most forms of PP. In contrast, demanding perfection of oneself and demanding perfection from others were largely, but not entirely, unrelated to PP. Results also suggested that perfectionism dimensions provide unique information compared to each other and to the Big Five. For some domains of PP (e.g., Cluster C), perfectionism dimensions may operate as a central factor that drives core elements of the pathology. For other domains of PP (e.g., dissocial behavior), perfectionism may function as a peripheral feature that reinforces aspects of the pathology.