Psychological distress and the frequency of perfectionistic thinking

Psychological distress and the frequency of perfectionistic thinking,10.1037//0022-3514.75.5.1363,Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,Gordon

Psychological distress and the frequency of perfectionistic thinking   (Citations: 79)
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Five studies tested the hypotheses that there are individual differences in the frequency of automatic thoughts involving perfectionism and that these thoughts are associated with psychological distress. Research with the Perfectionism Cognitions Inventory (PCI) established that this new measure has adequate psychometric properties, and high PCI scorers tend to spontaneously report perfectionistic thoughts in naturalistic situations. Additional research confirmed that frequent perfectionism thoughts account for unique variance in distress, over and above variance predicted by standard measures of negative automatic thoughts and trait perfectionism measures. Overall, the findings support the view that personality traits involved in depression and anxiety have a cognitive component involving ruminative thoughts and that activation of this cognitive personality component contributes to distress. Over the past two decades, there have been several important developments in research and theory on the role of automatic thoughts and related cognitive processes in emotion distress. Initial work testing predictions from Beck's (1967) cognitive model found that a preponderance of negative automatic thoughts was associated with depression (see Hollon & Kendall, 1980). This work was supplemented by theoretical accounts and investigations of the role of an absence of positive thoughts in depression (Ingram & Wisnicki, 1988; Kendall, Howard, & Hays, 1989; Schwartz & Garamoni, 1986). More recently, No- len-Hoeksema and her colleagues have focused on a ruminative response style as a coping tendency that contributes to the persis- tence of depression (Nolen-Hoeksema, Parker, & Larson, 1994). In the current article, we reexamine the role of ruminative processes in psychological distress by considering the argument that certain personality traits can also be assessed in terms of frequency of thinking. Specifically, the present research investi- gated the possibility that there are individual differences in the
Journal: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology - PSP , vol. 75, no. 5, pp. 1363-1381, 1998
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