Perfectionism in Argentina and the United States: Measurement Structure, Invariance, and Implications for Depression

J Pers Assess. 2018 Mar-Apr;100(2):219-230. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2017.1296845. Epub 2017 Apr 4.


The Revised Almost Perfect Scale (APS-R; Slaney, Mobley, Trippi, Ashby, & Johnson, 1996 ) was designed to measure perfectionistic strivings (standards), perfectionistic concerns (discrepancy), and preferences for neatness and organization (order). In this study, English and Spanish (Arana, Keegan, & Rutsztein, 2009 ) versions of the APS-R were compared in samples of 283 college students in Argentina and 311 U.S. students. The results offered support for cross-national scalar invariance for discrepancy and order items but standards items, with a few exceptions, raised concerns about their cross-national comparability. Tests of latent means revealed no differences between the countries for discrepancy, but the order factor mean was higher in the U.S.

Sample: Age and gender had negligible effects on measurement models. Discrepancy was strongly related to depressive symptoms for both samples. Unlike in the U.S. sample, there was a significant association for the Argentina sample between standards and discrepancy. Overall, results indicated that discrepancy items performed well, order items were adequate with some measurement adjustments, and standards items should be revisited for their cross-cultural utility. Translation issues and general values in Argentina and the United States (e.g., collectivism-individualism) are discussed that might affect how perfectionism is understood and measured in different cultural contexts.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Argentina
  • Depression*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perfectionism*
  • Personality Assessment*
  • Students
  • United States
  • Young Adult