The role of perfectionism in anxiety, depression, self-esteem and internalized shame

Diane K Delegard, Marquette University


The purpose of this study was to explore maladaptive (unhealthy) perfectionism and its relationship to anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and internalized shame in clinical patients. This study may also provide information that may be of future use in diagnosis for patients with high levels of unhealthy perfectionism. The patients were all selected from an Outpatient Behavioral Health Department at a Midwestern Hospital in the U.S. Out of a random sample of 470 patients, 155 perfectionists volunteered to complete all testing. Each participant completed the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised, The State-Trait Anxiety Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory. The following information was of special interest to the author: (1) the high correlation of perfectionism and internalized shame; (2) which predictors ameliorate maladaptive perfectionism. All of the variables of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and internal shame correlated significantly with maladaptive perfectionism. State anxiety, depression and trait anxiety correlated the highest as predictor variables for maladaptive perfectionism.

Recommended Citation

Delegard, Diane K, "The role of perfectionism in anxiety, depression, self-esteem and internalized shame" (2004). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3141093.