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Behav Modif. 2006 Jul;30(4):472-95.

Positive versus negative perfectionism in psychopathology: a comment on Slade and Owens's dual process model.

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Dept. of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This article reviews the concepts of positive and negative perfectionism and the dual process model of perfectionism outlined by Slade and Owens (1998). The authors acknowledge that the dual process model represents a conceptual advance in the study of perfectionism and that Slade and Owens should be commended for identifying testable hypotheses and future research directions. However, the authors take issue with the notion that there are two types of perfectionism, with one type of perfectionism representing a "normal" or "healthy" form of perfectionism. They suggest that positive perfectionism is motivated, at least in part, by an avoidance orientation and fear of failure, and recent attempts to define and conceptualize positive perfectionism may have blurred the distinction between perfectionism and conscientiousness. Research findings that question the adaptiveness of positive forms of perfectionism are highlighted, and key issues for future research are identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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