Perfectionism is generally associated with worse mental health outcomes, though evidence suggests elements of it may be helpful. In light of these findings, we examined whether psychological skills like psychological flexibility and self-compassion moderated the relationship between perfectionism and wellbeing (i.e., quality of life, symptom impairment, and psychological distress).
Undergraduate students (N = 677) completed self-report measures.
A latent profile analysis identified three perfectionism groups (low, average, and high) based on four perfectionism subscales: concern over mistakes, need for approval, rumination, and striving for excellence. Generally, we found that psychological flexibility and/or self-compassion buffered the impact of average and high perfectionism on quality of life and symptom impairment.
Our results support the utility of practicing psychological flexibility and/or self-compassion for people with average and high levels of perfectionism. Limitations include using a cross-sectional design and nonclinical sample.