Perfectionism, self-criticism and maternal criticism: A study of mothers and their children

Sarah Clark, S. Coker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dysfunctional perfectionism has been related to psychological difficulties in both adults and children. The aim of this study was to examine associations between maternal dysfunctional perfectionism, self-criticism and criticism and dysfunctional perfectionism and self-criticism in their children. A cross-sectional design was used to measure dysfunctional perfectionism and self-criticism in a group of children and their mothers. A between groups design was then used to compare maternal criticism between mothers of children highlighted as having high or low dysfunctional perfectionism scores. A non-clinical sample of school children aged 12-15 years (N = 110) and their mothers completed questionnaire measures of perfectionism (Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS); Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990) and self-criticism (Levels of Self-Criticism Scale; Thompson & Zuroff, 2004). Dysfunctional Perfectionism was measured using the combined Concern over Mistakes and Doubts about Actions subscale of the MPS. Maternal criticism was measured using the Preschool Five Minute Speech Sample (P-FMSS; Daley, Sonuga-Barke, & Thompson, 2003). No relationship was found between maternal and child dysfunctional perfectionism. A relationship was found between maternal Comparative Self-Criticism and Internalised Self-Criticism in girls but not boys. Observed levels of maternal criticism were associated with dysfunctional perfectionism in children. Directions for future research and clinical implications are presented. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-325
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009

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