Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood

Ferrari, M, Yap, K, Scott, N, Einstein, D and Ciarrochi, J 2018, 'Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood', PL o S One, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 1-19.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood
Author(s) Ferrari, M
Yap, K
Scott, N
Einstein, D
Ciarrochi, J
Year 2018
Journal name PL o S One
Volume number 13
Issue number 2
Start page 1
End page 19
Total pages 19
Publisher Public Library of Science
Abstract Background Psychological practitioners often seek to directly change the form or frequency of clients' maladaptive perfectionist thoughts, because such thoughts predict future depression. Indirect strategies, such as self-compassion interventions, that seek to change clients' relationships to difficult thoughts, rather than trying to change the thoughts directly could be just as effective. This study aimed to investigate whether self-compassion moderated, or weakened, the relationship between high perfectionism and high depression symptoms in both adolescence and adulthood. Methods The present study utilised anonymous self-report questionnaires to assess maladaptive perfectionism, depression, and self-compassion across two samples covering much of the life-span. Questionnaires were administered in a high school setting for the adolescent sample (Study 1, M-age = 14.1 years, n = 541), and advertised through university and widely online to attract a convenience sample of adults (Study 2, M-age = 25.22 years, n = 515). Results Moderation analyses revealed that self-compassion reduced the strength of relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depression in our adolescent Study 1 (beta = -.15, p < .001, R-2 = .021.) and our adult study 2 (beta = -.14, p < .001, R-2 = .020). Limitations Cross-sectional self-reported data restricts the application of causal conclusions and also relies on accurate self-awareness and willingness to respond to questionnaire openly. Conclusions The replication of this finding in two samples and across different age-appropriate measures suggests that self-compassion does moderate the link between perfectionism and depression. Self-compassion interventions may be a useful way to undermine the effects of maladaptive perfectionism, but future experimental or intervention research is needed to fully assess this important possibility.
Subject Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Philosophical Psychology (incl. Moral Psychology and Philosophy of Action)
Keyword(s) High-School-Students
Maladaptive Perfectionism
Feelings Questionnaire
Community Sample
Short Mood
DOI - identifier 10.1371/journal.pone.0192022
Copyright notice Copyright: © 2018 Ferrari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
ISSN 1932-6203
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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