The cost of being perfect : perfectionism and suicide ideation in university students

Hamilton, Teresa J. & Schweitzer, Robert (2000) The cost of being perfect : perfectionism and suicide ideation in university students. Journal of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 34(5), pp. 829-835.

View at publisher

Abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between dimensions of perfectionism and suicide ideation in a tertiary student population in Australia.

Method: The methodology involved 405 students completing the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) which includes a subset of questions which can be used to assess suicide ideation, and the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale.

Results: The presence of suicide ideation was associated with higher scores on total perfectionism and two perfectionism dimensions, and total GHQ scores. There were significant differences between participants with high levels of perfectionism and participants with moderate to low levels of perfectionism on a measure of suicide ideation. Neither gender nor age were associated with differences in the scores, with results indicating high levels of perfectionism may indicate a vulnerability to suicide ideation.

Conclusions: Perfectionism is a valued attribute in high-achieving populations. The question needs to be asked, however, at what cost? The findings indicate that high levels of perfectionism may be associated with an increased vulnerability to suicide ideation. Future research is needed to gain a better understanding of the complex interrelationship between personality and temperament, environmental factors and self-destructive behaviour.

Impact and interest:

52 citations in Scopus
38 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 58577
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: perfectionism, suicide ideation, college students, adolescents, personality, university
DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1614.2000.00801.x
ISSN: 0004-8674
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Educational Psychology (170103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 25 Mar 2013 01:16
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 01:16

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page