Perfectionism in depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders

Behav Res Ther. 2008 Jun;46(6):757-65. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2008.02.007. Epub 2008 Feb 29.


High levels of perfectionism have been observed in major depression, anxiety disorders and eating disorders. Though few studies have compared levels of perfectionism across these disorders, there is reason to believe that different dimensions of perfectionism may be involved in eating disorders than in depression or anxiety [Bardone-Cone, A. M. et al. (2007). Perfectionism and eating disorders: Current status and future directions. Clinical Psychology Review, 27, 84-405]. The present study compared patients with major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders on dimensions of perfectionism. Concern over Mistakes was elevated in each of the patient groups while Pure Personal Standards was only elevated in the eating disorder sample. Doubts about Actions was elevated in both patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders, but not in depressed patients. Analyses of covariance indicated that Concern over Mistakes accounted for most of the variance in the relationship of perfectionism to these forms of psychopathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Concept