Variables Related to Perfectionism

Marilyn E. Gawlik




            This survey looks at the differences between men and women and whether women are more perfectionists than men.  It also looks to see if women have lower levels of self-esteem, are more conscientious, and have high levels of stress.  This research study consisted of a hundred Midwestern university students, ranging from a wide variety of majors.  The experimental method for this research was to hand out a survey.  The survey consisted of 72 different statements.  All the participants recorded their responses using a Likert scale ranging from 1-7.  The statements varied between being a perfectionist, stress levels, self-esteem statements, and introvert/extrovert statements.  Through this research it was shown that women are more perfectionists than men and that they have lower levels of self-esteem, have high levels of stress, and are more conscientious.  This research was important to show exactly have different men and women are when it comes perfectionism.

Keywords: perfectionist, stress, self-esteem, introvert/extrovert




            Perfectionism can be defined many different ways and looked at in many different perspectives.  It can either be looked at as being obsessive compulsive or just wanting to do well in everyday life and setting high standards for oneself.  Being a perfectionist can also lead to the destruction of a person’s psychological well-being.  Events related to this are suicide, depression and illness.  Not only do we have a hard time defining perfectionism and figuring out what the results of being perfectionists are but we are also unaware of who is more of a perfectionist’s men or women.  Not only do men and women both at time carry characteristics of being a perfectionist but who over a long period of time carries the characteristics the longest and lets them effect their life in a negative or positive way. 

            Looking into whether men or women are more perfectionists can lead to interesting results.  By finding out who is more of a perfectionist therapists will be able to help the individual with the consequences they are facing from being this way.  By being able to figure out results of being a perfectionist counselors will be able to help the individual with coping strategies to help the individual stay safe from harming themselves.  Not only will there be people willing to help these individuals but the perfectionists will be able to see what it is like to not always need to be perfect and see what can happen to them if they are not.  Looking into perfectionism will not only help others understand it more but it will also help the individuals that are perfectionists with the consequences they are facing from it. 

Perfectionism is considered to be “striving for flawlessness” (Hibbard, 2011).  Hamachek (1978) developed a theory that distinguished “between ‘normal’ perfectionists who have high personal standards but allow themselves some flexibility in self-evaluations and ‘neurotic’ perfectionists who avoid positive self-evaluations unless their performance is perfect (Hibbard, 2011).  Distinguishing between the two types of perfectionists would help reveal the individuals who would end up facing consequences from their high standards in the long run.  According to Hewitt and Flett (1991) “perfectionism refers to a multidimensional phenomenon composed of self-oriented , other-oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism” (Chang, 2006). 

With three different types of perfectionism it would be easier to distinguish between the types and label the individual with a type.  Self-oriented perfectionism “refers to the tendency for an individual to set and seek high self-standards of performance.  Other-oriented refers to the tendency for an individual to expect that others should or will be perfect in their performance.  Socially prescribed perfectionism refers to the tendency for an individual to believe that others expect perfection from him or her” (Chang, 2006).  The distinction between these three types of perfectionism helps to understand the psychological dysfunctions that are associated with the individuals. 

It was also determined by Ryff (1989, 1995) that there were six theoretically distinguishable functions that could be tested in his multidimensional model of psychological well-being.  The six functions consisted of “self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life and personal growth” (Chang, 2006). 

Ryff (1989) developed the Scales of Psychological Well-Being to capture the aspects of the six distinct theory based dimensions.  Chang also found out that “general perfectionism was not significantly related to positive mood, but was significantly related to (lower) life satisfaction in both young adults (mostly college students) and middle-aged adults” (Chang, 2006).  Individuals that have low life satisfaction tend to try and compensate for what they are not fond of in their current like.  Thus, making them tend to try and be perfect at everything they do and setting higher standards for themselves so they will have higher life satisfaction.  Hewitt believed that “perfectionist behavior can generate stress that stems, in part, from the tendency for perfectionists to evaluate stringently, focus on negative aspects of performance, and experience little satisfaction” (Chang, 2006). 

Hewitt (1996) learned that perfectionists only tend to look at the negatives in their lives because if something was not perfect they were not happy.  With the individual not seeing the perfection in their performance they would have little satisfaction in not only the things they do but also their lives.   Hall, Chipperfield, Perry, Ruthig, and Goetz (2006) proposed a “dual-process model in which perceived control is sustained by attempts to either change the environment (primary control) or to psychologically adjust to one’s environment (secondary control)” (Hall, Chipperfield, Perry, Ruthig, Goetz, 2006). “Primary-control strategies typically consist of goal-directed persistence and effort, whereas secondary-control strategies may involve a variety of techniques, including the downgrading of expectations or task importance, accepting limitations, or perceiving benefits from an otherwise adverse experience” (Hall et al., 2006).

Rice and Lopez (2004) discovered that there were two dimensions of high order perfectionism.  The first dimension consisted of “adaptive, normal, and personal standards perfectionism” and the second dimension consisted of maladaptive or neurotic perfectionism” (Rice, Lopez, 2004).

            Edward C. Chang (2006) devised an experiment to see perfection and the dimensions of psychological well-being in college students using a test of a stress-mediation model.  The main purpose of his study was to “examine the associations between perfectionism and the psychological well-being and to determine if stress mediates the relationship between perfectionism and psychological well-being (Chang, 2006).  In determining if there is an association between perfectionism and psychological well-being the MPS was used for perfectionism and the SPWB was used to measure psychological well-being.  This study consisted of 281 college students, 92 men and 189 women from a large public school in the Midwest.  The ages ranged from 18 to 42 with a mean of 20 years.  For measuring perfectionism the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale was used.  The MPS is a 45-item measure that consists of three theoretically distinct scales.  “The Self-Oriented Perfectionism scale measures for high achievement expectations and striving for perfection.  The Other–Oriented Perfectionism scale measures expectations of perfection from others.  The Socially Prescribed Perfectionism scale measures concern over meeting the expectations of others” (Chang, 2006).  These scales were based on a 7-point Likert scale.  “Higher scores on each of the scales reflect greater levels of perfectionism” (Change, 2006).  To measure for stress Cohen, Kamarck, and Mermelstain (1983) constructed the Perceived Stress Scale.  This scale “assess for appraisal or the extent to which individuals view their lives as unpredictable, uncontrollable, or overloading” (Chang, 2006).  The Scales of Psychological Well-Being was used to measure the dimensions of psychological well-being.  The SPWB “assess for sex theoretically distinct dimensions of psychological well-being, namely, self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, and purpose in life” (Change, 2006).  The scores on the three MPS scales were “moderately and positively correlated with one another and scores on the MPS-Other and MPS-Social scales were positively related to greater PSS scores.  Chang found out that “only two of the three dimensions of perfectionism were significantly related to stress. Other-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism were positively related to stress” (Chang, 2006).  Hewitt and Flett’s (1991) tripartite model, “socially prescribed perfectionism may represent the most harmful dimension of perfectionism among college students” (Chang, 2006).

            Hibbard and Davis (2011) looked at Perfectionism and Psychological Adjustment among College Students.  They looked into whether students at private or public colleges were more perfectionists than the other.  They looked at a private liberal arts university and a moderately large public school.  The private school consisted of 125 students of which 95 were female.  The public school consisted of 106 students of which 76 were female.  To measure perfectionism the MPS was used.  This scale measured the six dimensions of perfectionism “concern over mistakes, personal standards, parental expectations, parental criticism, doubts about actions, and organization” (Hibbard, Davis, 2011).  Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale where students rated 10-items on a five point Likert scale.  Depression was measure using the Beck Depression Inventory.  Students marked one statement from each group that best described their behavior for the past two weeks.  “The issues covered in the BDI range from feelings of sadness, crying, trouble sleeping, feeling alone, etc.” (Hibbard, Davis, 2011).  Loneliness was measured using the UCLA Loneliness Scale that used a four point Likert scale.  It was hypothesized that “private –college students would be more perfectionists than public-college students” (Hibbard, Davis, 2011).  As hypothesized the private school students “were more perfectionists on concern over mistakes and the personal standards dimensions, and somewhat more perfectionists on the doubts about actions dimension” (Hibbard, Davis, 2011).  The second hypothesis was the “patterns of association between perfectionism and psychological adjustment would be similar for the private and public school students” (Hibbard, Davis, 2011).  A bivariate correlation was used to calculate between the dimensions and the patterns were similar.  One of the goals of this research was to “examine whether private college students would be generally more perfectionist than public college students” (Hibbard, Davis, 2011).  Only in certain aspects were the private college students more perfectionists than the public college students.  A second goal of the research was to determine “whether the correlates of perfectionism look similar across two different educational settings” (Hibbard, Davis, 2011).  The results showed that the relationship between perfectionism and psychological outcomes were similar between private and public college students.

            Carvalho, Gadzella, Henley, and Ball (2009) looked in the locus of control and the differences among college student’s stress levels.  In this study the Student-Life Stress Inventory was used to organize the definitions of stress.  The definitions included stress as a stimulus, a response, or a stimulus-response.  The SSI consisted of 51 items that that were divided into sections on stressors and reactions to stressors.  “The stressors section measures different kinds of stressors across five categories, frustration, conflict, pressure, change, and self-imposed, the reaction to stressors section includes four categories, physiological, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive appraisal” (Carvalho et al., 2009).  The SSI also tested for the student’s stress level whether it was mild, moderate, or severe.  The study consisted of 210 volunteers from a Texas University.  There were 131 women and 79 men with an average age of 25.1.  “Students reported their overall level of stress as mild (50), moderate (133), and severe (27)” (Carvalho et al., 2009).  The Student-Life Stress Inventory was used with a five point Likert scale.  Levenson’s instrument was also used to this study which consisted of 24 statements that looked at internality, powerful others, and chance.  This instrument used a six point Likert scale.  From this study there were “significant correlations between the severe stress level group and the powerful others scale and the chance scale” (Carvalho et al., 2009).  The results for this study were analyzed using analyses of variance.  “The purpose of this study was to explore how participants, with different levels of stress, attributed the causes of their behavior and experience” (Carvalho et al., 2009).  The data showed that there was a significant correlation between the severe stress level and chance score of the IPC.

            Rice and Lopez (2004) looked into maladaptive perfectionism, adult attachment, and the self-esteem in college students.  There are “two high-order dimensions of perfectionisms with different adjustment implications’ (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  “The first dimension, variously termed as adaptive, normal, or personal standards perfectionism, if often characterized by high personal standards, the second dimension, often labeled as maladaptive or neurotic perfectionism” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  They hypothesized that “participants’ overall level of adult attachment security might contribute unique variance to the prediction of self-esteem and depression among maladaptive perfectionists” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  The study consisted of 211 students that attended a large public university in the central north area of the United States.  There were 152 women and 51 men with an average age of 21.32 years.  The participants in this study also represented a wide variety of majors from the university.  “The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale was used to measure perfectionism, with specific focus on the Concern Over Mistakes, Doubts About Actions, and Personal Standards subscales” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  “Adult attachment was measured with the Adult Attachment Questionnaire.  The Avoidance subscale measures comfort with interpersonal closeness and dependency, whereas the Anxiety subscale assesses fears about separateness or abandonment” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  The Rosenberg Self-esteem Inventory “was used to measure a general perception of self-worth or positive self esteem” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  The Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale “was used to measure depression, it was designed to measure depression in general population samples” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  For the analyses of the study the “correlation among the subscales revealed a significant and positive association between scores on Concern Over Mistakes and Doubts About Actions, and both of these measures were significantly associated with lower SEI scores and higher CES-D scores” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  The student’s level of adult attachment security looks to function to intensify or to lessen the negative effects of maladaptive perfectionism on self-esteem.  “Among students who acknowledge high levels of attachment security, self-doubt appears to have a less adverse impact on self-esteem, whereas among students with low levels of attachment security. Self-doubt was more prominently related to low self-esteem” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).  Lopez ad Rice found that “performance-related doubts had more advance effects on self-esteem among maladaptive perfectionists with insecure adult attachment orientation than among their counterparts with secure orientation” (Lopez, Rice, 2004).

            Heilbrum and Friedberg (1987) researched Type A behavior and stress in college males.  “Personality traits expected in the Type A behavior person included extreme aggressiveness, hostility, time-urgency, and competitive achievement striving” (Heilbrum, Friedberg, 1987).  People who tend to have a Type A personality are success oriented in society.  This research consisted of 53 college males from Emory University with the average age being 18.42 years.  The JAS was used to “obtain self-descriptions of Type A behavior from the subjects, all the items refer to time-urgent, hard-driving, competitive, or hostile-irritable behaviors” (Heilbrum, Friedberg, 1987).  Heilbrum and Pepe developed a stress measure using symptoms proposed by Selye.  “Symptoms included such conditions as pounding of the heart, unstable emotions, inability to concentrate, easy fatigue, tenseness, nervous mannerisms, startle, sleeping problems, inability to relax, stomach problems, and headaches” (Heilbrum, Friedberg, 1987).  This test was rated using a six point Likert scale.  Analysis of Variance was used to look at the data that had been collected from the tests.  “Personality attributes, whether they are Type A characteristics or moderators of stress in Type As, may contribute to the stress load of the individual ion any of these three different ways: (a) by increasing the risk of stress-provoking situations, (b) by augmenting stress once aroused, or (c) by sustaining stress from the same source over time” (Heilbrum, Friedberg, 1987).  “Stress is more likely to be aroused in the first place if Type As are overly concerned with themselves, just as stress from a particular source may be prolonged if continuing a stress-provoking pattern becomes a matter of self-esteem” (Heilbrum, Friedberg, 1987). 

Hall, Chipperfield, Perry, Ruthig, and Goetz (2006) looked at the primary and secondary control in academic development and the gender-specific implications for stress and heath in college students.  Hall “proposed a dual-process model in which perceived control is sustained by attempts to either change the environment (primary control) or to psychologically adjust to one’s environment (secondary control)”  (Hall et al., 2006).  The primary control strategies “typically consist of goal-directed persistence and effort, whereas secondary-control strategies may involve a variety of techniques, including the downgrading of expectations or task importance, accepting limitations, or perceiving benefits from an otherwise adverse experience” (Hall et al., 2006).  It had been original found that female college students had higher levels of stress than their male counterparts. The first year of college students “faced numerous educational challenges in the process of adjusting to the novel and often stressful academic setting, including increased pressure to succeed at unfamiliar tasks, greater academic competition, more frequent failure experiences, and important career decisions" (Hall et al., 2006).  The jump from high school to college also includes “various personal challenges of a stressful nature, such as changes in interpersonal relationships, living arrangements, and personal finances” (Hall et al., 2006).  The research consisted of 888 students from a mid-western university.  The sample consisted of 575 females and 278 males with ages ranging from 17 to 24 years. The independent variables for this research were primary academic control, secondary academic control, perceived stress, and academic performance.  The dependent variables for this research were global health status, illness symptoms, and illness-related behaviors.  Questionnaires were distributed to classrooms in the first month (October) of the academic year and then a second questionnaire was distributed in March of the same academic year.  “Female students reported greater perceived stress, poorer overall health, more illness symptoms, and more illness-related behaviors than male students” (Hall et al., 2006).  For the first year of college “freshman experience a number of academic, social, and personal stressors that can threaten their sense of personal control and negatively impact their psychological and physical well-being” (Hall et al., 2006).  For first year male college students “primary control was found to correspond to lower feelings of stress, greater perceptions of physical and psychological health, and fewer illness-related behaviors” (Hall et al., 2006). 


Hill, McIntire and Bacharach (1997) researched into perfectionism and the big five factors.  The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale is used to assess “excessive concern over making mistakes, high personal standards, perception of high parental expectations and parental criticism, doubt regarding the quality of one’s actions, and a preference for order and organization” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach, 1997).  The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale “described perfectionism as a three-dimensional construct composed of self-oriented, other oriented, and socially prescribed perfectionism” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach, 1997).  The Big Five Factors that were measured by Costa and McCrae’s Neo PI-R are “neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach, 1997).  The research consisted of 214 college students including 64 males and 150 females with an average age of 19 years.  The MPS is a self-report of perfectionistic tendencies.  It was rated using a seven point Likert scale measure the three different dimensions of perfectionism: self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially-prescribed perfectionism.  “The NEO PI-R is a self-report scale which measures the personality domains comprising the Big Five model of personality: Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach, 1997).  “Self-oriented perfectionism was strongly associated with conscientiousness, other-oriented perfectionism was inversely associated with agreeableness, and socially prescribed perfectionism was positively associated with neuroticism” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach, 1997).  There were three different tests done to analyze the data.  A multivariate test, a univariate test, and a facet scale analyses were used to analyze the data from the self-reports.  “Self-oriented perfectionism was strongly associated with conscientiousness.  Achievement striving and dutifulness were two elements of conscientiousness with contributed most to self-oriented perfectionism” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach, 1997).  “Other-oriented perfectionism was negatively associated with agreeableness, with the compliance and modesty facet scales best defining this inverse relationship” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach 1997).  “Socially prescribed perfectionism was associated only with the depression facet of the neuroticism factor, consistent with previous findings that describe this dimension of perfectionism is maladaptive” (Hill, McIntire, Bacharach, 1997).                  

                  Rice, Ashby and Gilman (2011) looked into studying and classifying adolescent perfectionists.  There are two types of perfectionists: normal and neurotic.  “A normal perfectionist was described as someone engaged in the pursuit of perfection by not consumed by that pursuit to the point that self-esteem was compromised in the process” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman 2011).  A neurotic perfectionists “was described as someone excessively concerned with meeting unrealistic goals and never feeling ‘good enough’ in that pursuit” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011).  Rice, Ashby and Gilman used the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised “to develop classification rules that identified perfectionists and differentiated adaptive/healthy perfectionists from maladaptive/unhealthy perfectionists” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011).  The individuals that took the test and were evaluated with high standards and discrepancy scores “labeled maladaptive perfectionists and those with elevated high standards but low discrepancy score were identified as adaptive perfectionists” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011).  There were 919 ninth-grade students in this study where 51% of them were female and 49% of them were male.  The APS-R self-report was used on a seven point Likert scale.  There were subscales in the APS-R they consisted of the high standards subscale which “measures high persona standards and performance expectations.  The Oder subscale measures preferences for order and organization.  The Discrepancy subscale measures the most clearly negative characteristic of perfectionism in tapping one’s perceived inadequacy in meeting personal standards” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011).  The Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale self-report assesses satisfaction across life domains.  The domains tested for in this study were family, friends, and self.  The BASC-2: SRP-A “is a multidimensional measure that assesses behavior and self-perceptions of children and adolescents between 12 and 21 years” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011).  This scale was rated using a four point Likert scale.  Through this study it was found that “High Standards [were] associated with better adjustment, and Discrepancy was associated with psychological and academic difficulties” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011).  The results from this research also found that “adaptive perfectionists were far more satisfied with various aspects of their lives than were the other two groups and that maladaptive perfectionists typically had higher satisfaction score than nonperfectionists” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman, 2011).  It was also found that “maladaptive perfectionists obtained the highest, on average social stress and anxiety scores compared with the other groups; they were not significantly different from nonperfectionists in relatively higher levels of depression and sense of inadequacy and lower levels of self-esteem” (Rice, Ashby, Gilman,  2011). 

            Besharat and Shahidi (2010) looked into research on perfectionism, anger, and anger rumination.  “Perfectionism is seen as a multidimensional personality disposition that is characterized by setting flawless and excessively high standards for performance” (Besharat, Shahidi, 2010).  There are two dimensions of perfectionism.  “The first dimension has been described as positive, normal, healthy, or adaptive perfectionism.  The second dimension has been described as negative, neurotic, unhealthy, or maladaptive perfectionism” (Besharat, Shahidi, 2010).  A negative emotion that results from a threat or frustration is considered anger, “anger has been associated with frequent visit to physicians, somatic complaints, greater chronic pain, coronary heart disease, social maladjustment, and aggressive behavior” (Besharat and Shahidi, 2010).  Anger is weakly correlated with self-oriented perfectionism and it is moderately correlated with socially prescribed perfectionism.  It had been found that “people with negative perfectionism are motivated to set high standards accompanied by or as a result of fear or negative evaluation or failure” (Besharat, Shahidi, 2010).  In this study consisted of 384 students 211 of which were female with an average age of 21.95 and 173 which were male with an average age of 22.84.  The Farsi version of the Positive and Negative Perfectionism Scale was used and it is made up of two subscales: positive perfectionism and negative perfectionism.  The scale was rated using a fine point Likert scale.  The Farsi version of the Anger Rumination Scale is a “self-report measure of the tendency to think about current anger-provoking situations and to recall anger episodes from the past.  This scale was rated using a four point Likert scale.  There are four subscales in this test that include “Anger Afterthoughts, Thoughts of Revenge, Angry Memories, and Understanding of Causes” (Besharat, Shahidi, 2010).  The Spielberger’s State-Trait Anger Scale asks questions regarding habitual experience of anger.  This test is rated using a four point Likert scale.  A multivariate analysis of variance was used to look at the data collected.  “For both men and women, significant correlations were obtained between perfectionism (positive and negative) and all anger rumination variables” (Besharat and Shahidi, 2010).  Positive perfectionism was linked with lower levels of anger and anger rumination while negative perfectionism was linked with higher levels of anger and anger rumination.  “Anger and anger rumination were negatively associated with positive perfectionism and positively associated with negative perfectionism” (Besharat, Shahidi, 2010).  It has been seen that people with “positive perfectionism are more self-confident than people with negative perfectionism and negative perfectionism increases the predisposition to experience anger through low self-confidence” (Besharat, Shahidi, 2010).                           

            Adkins and Parker (1996) looked into research on perfectionism and suicidal preoccupation.  When it comes to looking at the characteristics of a perfectionist “dissatisfaction with performance has frequently been cited as one of the characteristics of perfectionistic individuals” (Burns, 1980; Hamachek, 1978; Hollender, 1965; Pacht, 1984).  Perfectionists have the constant need to achieve perfection and are frustrated by their inability to do so.  “failure of perfectionists to meet the unattainable goals they set for themselves as a possible cause of depression, which if it is persistent, could lead to suicide” (Adkins, Parker, 1996).  The purpose of Adkins’s and Parker’s study with the find the relationship between perfectionism and suicidal preoccupation.  The study consisted of 129 students from a small southern liberal arts college.  The mean age of the students was 21.8 years with 84 being women and 54 being men.  to test for perfectionism the MPS was used and it “yields an overall score for perfectionism but also subscale scores (concern over mistakes, personal standards, parental expectations, parental criticism, doubts about actions, and organization)” (Adkins, Parker, 1996).  The Alabama Adolescent Health Survey was used with selected card from the Thematic Apperception Test.  The AAHS assess “such topics as family demographics, physical fitness, antisocial behaviors, sexual abuse, home safety practices, peer influences, sexual behaviors, extracurricular activities, stress, suicide, nutrition, alcohol and drug use, and familial relationships” (Adkins, Parker, 1996).  Canonical correlation was used in determining whether the TAT and the AAHS were measuring the same construct.  It was found that women had more difficulty with stress than men.  No significance was found between the TAT scores and the AAHS.  The responses on the AAHS and the MPS were found to be statistically significant.  The results from this study found that “elements of perfectionism such as having high personal standards and high parental expectations are not particularly related to suicidal preoccupation” (Adkins, Parker, 1996).  Out of the two kinds of perfectionists’ passive and active, passive perfectionists are the ones that are at risk of suicidal preoccupation.  “Passive perfectionists are those individuals who are inordinately afraid of making mistakes, who frequently second-guess their own decisions, who procrastinate, and for whom perfectionism creates impediments to action” (Adkins, Parker, 1996).  Whereas, active perfectionists are spurred by perfectionism rather than being inhibited by it.

            Rice and Pence (2006) researched perfectionism as it is related to obsessive-compulsive symptoms.  “Obsessive-Compulsive Cognitions Working Group identified perfectionism as being one of six specific cognitive domains believed to play a role in both the development and maintenance of OCD” (OCCWG, 1997).  This research consisted of 308 students with 68 being men and 239 being women.  The students were from two major universities located in the Midwest and South of the United States.  The average age of the students was 20.15.  The participants from the Midwest received the APS-R and the Compulsive Activity Checklist-Revised.  Whereas the participants from the South received the APS-R, CAC-R, FMPS, the HFMPS, and a brief symptom inventory.  The Almost Perfect Scale-Revised measure high standards, discrepancy, and order three dimensions of perfectionism.  The Frost Multidimensional perfectionism Scale measures for various indicators of psychological and academic adjustment.  The Hewitt and Flett Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale measure for self-oriented, other oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism with higher scores indicating more perfectionism.  The CAC-R use a four point scale for participants rate checking and washing activities.  The Brief Inventory Symptom measures for psychological disturbances.  “The combination of the APS-R subscales accounted for statistically significant variation in CAC-R checking score” (Rice, Pence, 2006).  It was found that high personal standards and discrepancy were significant predictors of washing symptoms.  The APS-R “subscales accounted for significant variations in CAC-R behavioral checking and OC-related cognitive difficulties tapped by the BSI” (Rice, Pence, 2006).  Discrepancy was the only subscale to be a significant predictor for checking and cognitive symptoms.  “Perfectionistic discrepancy emerged as generally associated with these OC difficulties whereas greater concerns about making mistakes were specifically associated with the BSI obsessive-compulsive subscale” (Rice, Pence, 2006).

            Erozkan, Karakas, Ata, and Ayberk (2011) researched the relationship between perfectionism and depression in high school students from Turkey.  In previous research it had been found that depression and socially prescribed perfectionism were related with one another.  The study was conducted to “determine the relationship between perfectionism and depression level of high school adolescents” (Erozkan et al., 2011).  This research was conducted at five different high schools in Mugla, Turkey.  A total of 589 students participated with 302 being girls and 291 being boys with an average age of 16.60 years.  The instruments that were used for this study were the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory.  The BDI measures depression in two ways: depressed and normative samples.  ANOVA, T-test, regression analysis, and Pearson correlation coefficients were used to look at the data of the two different surveys that were distributed.  It was found in this study that “depression levels if the group of students who had high scores on the concern over mistakes subdimension perfectionism were significantly higher than the depression levels of students who gained low scores” (Erozkan et al., 2011).  When it came to the depression levels between boys and girls, the girls had significantly higher levels than the boys did.  “Significant relationships between subdimensions of perfectionism and depression, concern over mistakes, personal standards, parental expectations, parental criticism, doubt about actions, and organization were all found to be positively correlated with depression” (Erozkan et al., 2011).  In the end it was found that perfectionists were more likely to have depression than nonperfectionists.

            Rice, Leever, Christopher, and Porter (2006) looked at perfectionism, stress, and social (dis)connection as it related to hopelessness, depression, and academic adjustment.  The purpose of the study was to “test the concurrent and predictive association between perfectionism and putative psychological and academic consequences of perfectionism and to test stress perception and social belonging as moderators and mediators of perfectionism-psychological distress and perfectionism-academic adjustment distress” (Rice et al., 2006).  The current study consisted of two different time points over the course of a school semester.  It consisted of 222 students in time one and 96 students in time two with the ages ranging from 17 to 20.  The tools used were the APS-R, the Perceived Stress Scale which measures self-appraised stress, the Social Connectedness Scale which measures how the individual feels as to belonging in his or her world, the Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale which measure depressive symptoms, the Beck Hopelessness Scale is a “self-report measure assessing general negative expectancy about short- and long-term future events that specifically measures the severity of hopelessness” (Rice et al., 2006) and the Academic Integration Scale which “assess the degree of academic integration for college students” (Rice et al., 2006).  It was found that perfectionism is a “predictor of concurrent and prospective adjustment, stress, and social connection.  Discrepancy was consistently associated with psychological problems, whereas high standards, although not as consistent in effects as discrepancy, was associated with healthy functioning” (Rice et al,, 2006).  In the maladaptive form perfectionism was seen to be stable.  “Social connection was a partial mediator of the effects of perfectionism on depression, hopelessness, and academic integration” (Rice et al., 2006).  It was found that perfectionism is a strong predictor of “concurrent and prospective stress, social connection, and adjustment” (Rice et al., 2006).

            Sassaroli and Ruggiero (2005) researched the role of stress as it related to low self-esteem, perfectionism, and worry, and eating disorders.  The current study looked at to measure “whether measures of perfectionism, negative self-evaluation, and worry are related to female students’ increased measures of eating-disordered behaviors and thoughts before important school examinations and before receiving the results of those examinations” (Sassaroli, Ruggiero, 2005).  For this study before the participants were given any kind of survey they went through an interview process where their age, height, weight, adequacy in understanding and fluently speaking Italian, and possible past or current psychological or psychopharmacologic treatments were assessed.  There were 145 participants ranging in age from 16-22 years old.  The instruments used were the MPS, the Self Liking and Competence Scale which measure “two dimensions of self-esteem---self-liking and self-competence”, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire which measured people’s tendency to worry, and the Eating Disorder Inventory which provided eight subscale score “indicating drive for thinness, bulimia, body dissatisfaction, ineffectiveness, perfectionism, interpersonal distrust, interoceptive awareness, and maturity fears” (Sassaroli, Ruggiero, 2005).  It was found that associations between “dimensions of self-esteem, perfectionism, worry, and higher BMI and measures of disordered eating behaviors and overconcern about weight and shape in nonclinical women” (Sassaroli, Ruggiero, 2005).  It was also found that concern over mistakes does not relate to stress and that it is associated with drive for thinness.  The research found that “stressful situations reveal an association between low self-esteem and worry with the EDI subscales Drive for Thinness and Bulimia” (Sassaroli, Ruggiero, 2005).  When it comes to low self-esteem it is mostly influenced by the presence of a stressful situation.

            Rice, Ashby, and Preusser (1996) researched perfectionism, relationships with parents, and self-esteem. It was hypothesized that

“Normal perfectionists were expected to describe their parents as having high expectations for them but also as being moderately close and supportive, neurotic perfectionists were expected to describe their parents as critical of them, with high expectations and low support or encouragement” (Rice, Ashby, Preusser, 1996).

 The purpose of this study was to find differences between normal and neurotic perfectionists.  The study consisted of 58 college students 30 being men and 28 being women with the age ranging from 18 to 32.  The instruments that were used were the APS, the MPS, the Parental Bonding Instrument where “respondents were asked to recall attitudes and behaviors of their parents during the respondent’s first 16 years of life” (Rice, Ashby, Preusser, 1996), and the Self-Esteem Scale which measures the participants general self-esteem.  It was found that neurotic perfectionists “experienced their parents as less encouraging than did normal perfectionists” (Rice, Ashby, Preusser, 1996).  Depending on the person’s type of perfectionism will depend on how that individual perceives their parents as harsh or demanding.  It was found that the more adaptive the perfectionist “the less demanding and critical they perceive their parents to have been” (Rice, Ashby, Preusser, 1996).  It was also found that the “overprotection from [the] mother was a significant predictor of self-esteem for neurotic perfectionists, whereas overprotection from [the] father was a significant predictor for normal perfectionists” (Rice, Ashby, Preusser, 1996).  This finding supports Adler’s theory that

“Parents who pamper their children can influence the development of neurotic perfectionism.  Adler suggested that pampering is discouraging and contributes to the low self-esteem of the child which escalates when children become older and parents decrease their protection” (Dreikurs & Soltz, 1964).

From Adler’s theory and the current study it was found that “parents’ perfectionistic tendencies and over protection behaviors, especially from the mother, can lead to increase in the maladaptive aspects of perfectionism” (Rice, Ashby, Preusser, 1996).

            Rice and Dellwo (2002) research the relationship between perfectionism and self-development as implications for college adjustment.  It was hypothesized the

“Two types of perfectionists would emerge when scores on multiple subscales of perfectionism were clustered.  Adaptive perfectionists were expected to evidence healthy aspects of self-development and robust self-esteem; they were also expected to show high levels of college academic and interpersonal integration and a low level of depression.  Maladaptive perfectionists were expected to report significant difficulties, including aspects of disrupted self-development, problematic college adjustment, and depression” (Rice, Dellwo, 2002).         

There were two groups of college students that participated in the study.  The first group consisted of 134 students’ 36 men, 92 women, and 6 missing a gender.  The second group consisted of 178 students’ 34 men, 141 women, and 3 missing a gender.  All the participants were from a large state university in the north central region of the United States.  They had a average age of 21.02.  The instruments that were used for the research were the MPS, the Superiority and Global Instability Scale which was designed to tap the outcomes of self-development in the individual, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem which is used to measure self-esteem, the Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale which measure the individuals depression level, a set of items from Cabrera, Nora, and Castaneda college persistence college to measure academic integration, and cumulative grade point average.  As it was hypothesized two types of perfectionists emerged from the data.  Adaptive perfectionists were “distinguished by high standards and organization, along with moderate concern about making mistakes, high expectations from parents, and few doubts about their actions” (Rice, Dellwo, 2002).  For the other type of perfectionists maladaptive perfectionists

“Reported considerably worse emotional, academic, and social well-being when compared with the other groups.  Conversely, adaptive perfectionists evidenced self-esteem, academic integration, and social integration that was comparable to that of nonperfectionists, although they also acknowledged more depression” (Rice, Dellwo, 2002).

 For both groups of perfectionists parents were described as having high expectations, but adaptive perfectionists described their parents as being less critical than the maladaptive perfectionists.

            Dean and Range (2001) looked at the escape theory of suicide and perfectionism in college students.  The purpose of their study was to “validate the escape theory of suicide and to investigate one of its aspects, perfectionism” (Dean, Range, 2001).  Dean and Range expected to find a “path in individuals who are perfectionistic, highly stressed, depressed, anxious, hopeless, and have lower reasons for living, which result in more suicidal behaviors” (2001).  The study consisted of 168 students 52 males and 116 females with an average age of 21.9 years.  The instruments that the study consisted of were Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire which asks questions about suicidal behaviors, the Life Experiences Survey which “assess the incidence of various important life-changing events” (Dean, Range, 2001), the Zung Self-Rating Scale which measures “psychological and physical symptoms of depression” (Dean, Range, 2001), the Hopelessness Scale which measures the “degree to which an individual’s cognitive schemas are dominated by negative expectations about the future” (Dean, Range, 2001), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory assess how the individual generally feels, and the Response for Living Inventory which consists of a list of reasons why not to kill oneself.  Out of the three types of perfectionism on the MPS only socially prescribed perfectionism was significantly correlated to suicidal behaviors.  It was found that “depression accounted for more variance in suicidal behaviors than hopelessness” (Dean, Range, 2001).  The research suggested a “modified escape theory of suicide which states that individuals who are under a great deal of negative life stress and who believe that others impose perfectionistic standards on them are vulnerable to negative effect, which might lead to lessened suicide inhibitions and ultimately suicide” (Dean, Range, 2001).

            McArdle (2010) researched about exploring domain-specific perfectionism.  McArdle’s study examined the “extent to which domain-specific contingencies of self-worth, perceptions of competence, and task value were associated with adolescents’ domain-specific perfectionistic tendencies” (McArdle, 2010).  It was also hypothesized that “self-worth contingent on performance in sports, perceptions of sports competence, and value of the sport domain would significantly predict perfectionism in sports but would show a nonsignificant relationship to perfectionistic tendencies in school” (McArdle, 2010).  The study consisted of 187 adolescents with 56% of them being female with an average age of 14.68 years.  The participants came from the Center for Talented Youth Ireland.  The instruments that were used were the MPS, 10 items to assess “perceptions of ability in the school and sports domain” (McArdle, 2010), eight items to assess the participants’ subjective task value, and the CSW which measures self-worth based on the individual’s performance in school.  The data indicated “ significantly higher scores on school versus sports perfectionism, school versus sport contingent self-worth, school versus sports perceptions of competence, and school versus sports domain value” (McArdle, 2010).  As it was hypothesized there were “significantly higher perfectionistic tendencies in the school versus sports domains” (McArdle, 2010).  It was also found that the domain-specific perfectionistic “tendencies are related to domain-specific cognitive appraisal processes” (McArdle, 2010).  For the feeling of self-worth and for self-definition as a person the achievement of high personal standards in sports is critical.  Correlational analysis indicated “sports value was not significantly associated with perfectionism in the context of school” (McArdle, 2010). 

            Flett, Blanksten, Hewitt, and Koledin (1992) looked at the components of perfectionism and procrastination in college students.  Procrastination is defined as an “irrational tendency to delay tasks that should be completed” (Lay, 1986).  This study examined perfectionism and “both fear of failure and task aversiveness” (Flett et al., 1992).  The study consisted of 131 college students 75 being female and 56 being male from the University of Toronto.  The instruments used for the study were the MPS, the Burns Perfectionism Scale which measures “self-oriented perfectionistic attitudes to facilitate comparisons with other studies” (Flett et al., 1992), the Lay Procrastination Scale which measures the individuals level of procrastination, and the Procrastination Assessment Scale-Students which provides scenarios that are associated with academic procrastination.  From the research there were few “significant correlations between procrastination and the MPS self-oriented perfectionism subscale.  There were many significant correlations between procrastination and the BPS” (Flett et al., 1992).  Socially prescribed perfectionism and procrastination was greater in males than it was in females.  Through all the research it was found that “fear of failure seems to be most central to perfectionism” (Flett et al.1992).  

            Flett and Hewitt (1998) researched perfectionism in relation to attributions for success or failure.  The purpose of this research was to examine “the link between dimensions of perfectionism and attributional tendencies for negative and positive outcomes” (Flett, Hewitt, 1998).  The study consisted of 124 student 84 being women and 40 being men from York University with an average age of 22.46 years.  The instruments that were used were the MPS and the Multidimensional-Multiattributional Causality Scale the represents achievement and affiliation outcomes.  Through the findings there was a positive “association between socially prescribed perfectionism and external attribution to such factors as luck and the situational context” (Flett, Hewitt, 1998).  It was also found that there was a link between socially prescribed perfectionism and the context attributions that may have a tendency to blame others’ for the individual’s problems.  Other findings in the study indicated “that socially prescribed perfectionism is also associated with a tendency to make external attributions for positive outcomes, in both the achievement and affiliation domains” (Flett, Hewitt, 1998).  In the end the study indicated that socially prescribed perfectionism “was associated with a tendency to make external attributions” (Flett, Hewitt, 1998). 

            From the recent research on perfectionism it has shown that women tend to be more perfectionists than men and have more stress than they do as well.  The hypothesis for this research is that women are more likely to be perfectionists than men.  They will also have lower self-esteem, will be more conscientious and will have high levels of stress.  That is showing that women are more perfectionists than men and have low self-esteem and high stress levels.  These results should occur based on recent studies that look into stress levels and perfectionism between men and women.  Self-esteem is operationalized by using The Short POI by Maslow as described by Shostrom and stress levels were operationalized from the Daily Hassle Index (Passing the Test of College Stress).




            The number of participants that completed the survey was one hundred, with there being 43 males and 57 females.  The subjects were from a private liberal arts university ranging across a variety of majors.  The subjects were chosen at random from a variety of introductory and upper level classes afford at the university.  The classrooms that completed the questionnaire were an Introduction to American Politics, Psychology of Human Sexuality, Stress Management, and Concepts of Science.


            The survey that was distributed to the subjects was comprised of five sections: introversion-extroversion, conscientiousness-dependability, perfectionism, self-esteem, and stress.  The introversion-extroversion and conscientiousness-dependability test were taken from a preexisting survey.  The self-esteem scale was taken from The Short POI constructed by Shostrom based on Maslow’s theories.  The stress test was also taken from a preexisting survey The Daily Hassle Index (Passing the Test of College Stress).  The return rate on the questionnaires was 100% because the questionnaires were distributed at the beginning of the class periods and were handed back as soon as soon as they were completed.  This should also impact the research in that there was not as much, if any, missing data on the questionnaires.


            The hypothesis was constructed on the basis that from recent studies it has been seen that perfectionists tend to have specific characteristics.  If a person is a perfectionist their stress levels tend to be higher than of a non-perfectionist.  From this speculation the research looks further into who is more of a perfectionist men and women.  Other characteristics related to being a perfectionist were also examined.  From this rationale a survey was constructed by the researcher (see Appendix B).  Along with the survey a consent form was attached (see Appendix A).  A field study was then conducted and a revision was done before the questionnaire was sent to the IRB.  Once sent to the IRB the board reviewed the questionnaire to make sure it is appropriate to distribute the questionnaire to university classes.  After all the questionnaires were distributed in classrooms the data was entered into a statistical software program and was processed through an Independent Sample T-test. 


            After calculating all the data together through independent t-tests there were significant findings.  There was a significant relationship indicating women having higher levels of stress than men.  The independent samples t-test analysis comparing female’s stress levels to males stress levels indicated that female scores (M=135.2456 SD=30.35874) did differ significantly from the males stress scores (M=107.1860, SD=32.93663), t(98)= -4.412, p=.0001 (Table I & II). 

The independent samples t-test analysis comparing female’s introversion/extroversion levels to males introversion/extroversion level indicated that female’s score (M=38.8596, SD=6.59393) did not differ significantly from the males scores (M=38.0000, SD=7.02377), t(98)= -.628, p=.532 (See Table I & II).  The independent samples t-test analysis comparing female’s conscientiousness/dependability scores to the male’s scores indicated that the female’s score (M=40.7193, SD=4.89444) did differ significantly from the male’s scores (M=37.4186, SD=5.41265), t(98)= -3.190, p=.002 (See Table I & II).  The independent samples t-test analysis comparing female’s perfectionism scores to the male’s scores indicated that the female’s score (M=25.3860, SD=4.71985) did differ significantly from the male’s scores (M=22.5814, SD-3.95951), t(98)= -3.148, p-.002 (See Table I & II).  The independent samples t-test analysis comparing female’s self-esteem levels scores to the male’s scores indicated that female’s score (M=70.8246, SD=10.41997) did not differ significantly from the male’s scores (M=72.3256, SD=9.82398), t(98)= .731, p=.467 (See Table III & IV).

Table I. Mean of Gender in relation to Introversion, Conscientiousness, Perfectionism, and Stress


IETOT= Introversion/Extroversion

CDTOT= Conscientiousness/Dependability

PTOT= Perfectionism

STTOT= Stress


Table II. Independent Sample T-test relating Gender to Introversion, Conscientiousness, Perfectionism, and Stress

Significant Difference= Conscientiousness (.002), Perfectionism (.002), and Stress (.001)


Table III. Gender and Self-Esteem


SETOT= Self-Esteem

Table IV. Independent Sample T-test of Gender and Self-Esteem


            From this research is can be concluded that women are more perfectionists than men.  Women have higher levels of stress than men and are more conscientious than men.  Perhaps, being conscientious or a perfectionist produces stress or perfectionism is a way of coping with stress.  The differences that were not statistically supported were self-esteem and introversion.  This may be related to the fact more men are starting to have self-esteem issues just as women have had in the past.  Or perhaps, there are fewer gender differences in the college sector than in the general population.   The limitations to this study were it was not a large sample and that it was limited to a college population.  Also age would be asked on the survey and if the participant is involved in a sport or not.  The rationale for adding age is that either the younger or older you are might depend on how you want to handle situations.  If they need to be done perfectly all the time or if you just want to get them done.  For adding sports is to look at if there is a relationship between the sport a person plays and if they are a perfectionist or not.  This research could be taken further to see if there is a correlation between males and females with self-esteem and introversion/extroversion with a larger sample of a population taken.  In summary, these findings suggest that women have more stress in their lives because they are more conscientious and perfectionists.  Since, a lot of stress produces negative by products the question then becomes how to find the ideal level of stress to maximize performance and produce a conscientious member of society.




Adkins, K. K., & Parker, W. (1996). Perfectionism and Suicidal Preoccupation. Journal of Personality, 64(2), 529-540.

Besharat, M., & Shahidi, S. (2010). Perfectionism, Anger, and Anger Rumination. International Journal of Psychology, 427-434.  

Carvalho, C. F., Gadzella, B. M., Henley, T. B., & Ball, S. E. (2009). Locus of Control: Differences Among College Students' Stress Levels. Individual Differences Research, 7(3), 182-187.

Chang, E. C. (2006). Perfectionism and Dimensions of Psychological Well-Being in a College Student Sample: A Test of a Stress-Mediation Model. Social and Clinical Psychology, 25(9), 1001-1019.

Dean, P. J., & Range, L. M. (2001). The escape Theory of suicide and Perfectionism in College Students. , 415-423.

Erozkan, A., Karakas, Y., Ata, S., & Ayberk, A. (2011). The Relationship Between Perfectionism and Depression in Turkish High School Students. Social Behavior and Personality, 39(4), 451-464.

Flett, G. L., Blankstein, K. R., Hewitt, P. L., & Koledin, S. (1992). Components of Perfectionism and Procrastination in College Students. Social Behavior and Personality, 20(2), 85-94.

Flett, G. L., & Hewitt, P. L. (1998). Perfectionism in relation to Attributions for Success or Failure. Current Psychology, 17(2/3).

McArdle, S. (2010, April). Exploring Domain-Specific Perfectionism. Journal of Personality, 78(2), 493-505.

Hall, N. C., Chipperfield, J. G., Perry, R. P., Ruthig, J. C., & Goetz, T. (2006, June). Primary and Secondary Control in Academic Development: Gender-specific Implications for Stress and Health in College Students. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 189-210.

Heilbrum, A. B., & Friedberg, E. B. (1987). Type A Behavior and Stress in College Males. Personality Assessment, 555-564.

Hibbard, D. R., & Davies, K. L. (2011). Perfectionism and Psychological Adjustment among College Students: Does Educational Context Matter? North American Journal of Psychology, 13(2), 187-198.

Hill, R. W., McIntire, K., & Bacharach, V. R. (1997, March). Perfectionism and the Big Five Factors. Social Behavior and Personality, 12(1).

Rice, K. G., Ashby, J. S., & Gilman, R. (2011). Classifying Adolescent Perfectionists. Psychological Assessment, 23(3), 563-577.

Rice, K. G., Ashby, J. S., & Preusser, K. J. (1996, September). Perfectionism, Relationships, with Parents, and Self-Esteem. Individual Psychology, 52(3), 246-258.

Rice, K. G., & Dellwo, J. P. (2002). Perfectionism and Self-Development: Implications for College Adjustment. Counseling and Development, 80, 188-195.

Rice, K. G., Leever, B. A., Christopher, J., & Porter, D. (2006). Perfectionism, Stress, and Social (Dis)Connection: A Short-Term Study of Hopelessness, Depression, and Academic Adjustment Among Honors Students. Counseling Psychology, 53(4), 524-534.

Rice, K. G., & Lopez, F. G. (2004). Maladaptive Perfectionism, Adult Attachment, and Self-Esteem in College Students. College Counseling, 7, 118-126.

Rice, K. G., & Pence, S. L. (2006, June). Perfectionism and Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms.     Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 28(2), 103-110.

Sassaroli, S., & Ruggiero, G. M. (2005). The Role of Stress in the Association between Low Self-Esteem, Perfectionism, and Worry, and Eating Disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 37(2), 135-142.


Appendix A

Read this consent form.  If you have any questions ask the experimenter and

She will answer your questions.

“I have read the statement below and have been fully advised of the procedures to be used in this project.  I have been given sufficient opportunity to ask any questions I had concerning the procedures and possible risks involved.  I understand the potential risks involved and I assume them voluntarily.”


Please sign your initials, detach below the dotted line, and continue with the survey.


Sign your initials here_________________                                                      Date__________


The McKendree University Psychology Department supports the practice of protection for human participants participating in research and related activities.  The following information is provided so that you can decide whether you wish to participate in the present study.  Your participation in this study is completely voluntary.  You should be aware that even if you agree to participate, you are free to withdraw at any time, and that if you do withdraw from the study, your grade in this class will not be affected in any way.  This survey is being conducted to assist the researcher in fulfilling a partial requirement for PSY 496W.

You must be over 18 years of age to participate in the survey.  It should not take more than 10 minutes for you to complete and will be completely anonymous and confidential.  If you should have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, Marilyn Gawlik, (224) 622-4898 or at , or Dr. Bosse, 618-537-6882 or at  Some of the questions in the survey may confront sensitive topics.  If answering any of these questions causes you problems or concerns, please contact one of our campus psychologists, Bob Clipper or Amy Champion-Stahlman, at 537-6503.


Rev. 3/31/09


Appendix B

            Gawlik Survey


1. Gender:  Male     Female


2. Major: _____________________   Minor: _________________


Part One: Circle the number closest to which best describes you.


3. Introverted              1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Outgoing

4. Unenergetic             1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Energetic

5. Silent                       1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Talkative

6. Timid                       1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Bold

7. Inactive                   1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Active

8. Unassertive             1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Assertive

9. Unadventurous       1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Adventurous


Part Two: Circle the number closest to which best describes you.


10. Disorganized         1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Organized

11. Irresponsible          1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Responsible

12. Negligent              1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Conscientious

13. Impractical            1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Practical

14. Careless                 1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Thorough

15. Lazy                      1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Hardworking

16. Extravagant           1          2          3          4          5          6          7          Thrifty


Part Three: Write the number 1-7 that best answers each of the following questions.

1=strongly disagree     2          3          4          5          6          7= strongly agree


17. ____ I do not feel ashamed of any of my emotions.


18. ____ I feel I must do what others expect of me.


19. ____ I believe that people are essentially good and can be trusted.


20. ____ I feel free to be angry at those I love.


21. ____ It is always necessary that others approve of what I do.


22. ____ I don’t accept my own weaknesses.


23. ____ I can like people without having to approve of them.

24.____ I fear failure.


25. ____ I avoid attempts to analyze and simplify complex situations.


1=strongly disagree     2          3          4          5          6          7= strongly agree



26. ____ It is better to know yourself than to be popular.


27. ____ I have no mission in life to which I feel especially dedicated.


28. ____ I can express my feelings even when they may result in undesirable consequences.


29. ____ I do not feel responsible to help anybody.


30. ____ I am bothered by fears of being inadequate.


31. ____ I am loved because I give love.


Part Four: Circle the number that best describes you.


32. I am a perfectionist.


            1          2          3          4          5          6          7

            Never                                                              Always


33. I am organized.


            1          2          3          4          5          6          7

            Never                                                              Always


34. I take a long time to get ready to go out for special occasions.


            1          2          3          4          5          6          7

            Never                                                              Always


35. I recheck my work frequently to make sure high standards are met.


            1          2          3          4          5          6          7

            Never                                                              Always


 36. I practice tasks over and over again until I perfect them.


1          2          3          4          5          6          7

            Never                                                              Always





Part Five: Write the number 1-7 that best answers each of the following questions.

1=never stresses me    2          3          4= sometimes stresses me       5          6          7= frequently stresses me


­37. ____ parking problems around campus                            55.____ library too noisy                                                       

38. ____ too little time                                                            56.____ instructors


39. ____ too little money                                                        57.____ deciding what to wear


40.____ materials unavailable in library                                  58.____  getting up in the morning                            

41. ____ my weight                                                                59.____ noisy neighbors


42. ____ conflicts with roommate/family                               60.____ boring instructor                                                       

43.____ constant pressure of studying                                   61.____ not enough close friends


44.____ not enough time to talk with friends                                    62.____ room temperatures                                                   

45.____ how I look                                                                 63.____ fixing hair in the morning


46.____ too little intimacy                                                      64.____ other students are unfriendly


47.____ getting to class on time                                             65.____ car problems


48.____ quality of meals                                                         66.____ future plans


49.____ relationships at work                                                 67.____ conflict with family                                     

50.____ other drivers                                                              68.____ missing my family


51.____ no email/Facebook notifications                               69.____ being lonely


52. ____ being unorganized                                                    70.____ others’ opinions of me


53. ____ physical safety after dark                                         71.____ too little sleep                       


54.____ taking tests                                                                72.____ writing term papers



Adapted from Daily Hassle Index (Passing the Test of College Stress)

Taken from The Short POI (Maslow/Shostrom)

Taken from a Introversion-Extroversion and Conscientiousness or Dependability test