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Trends Psychiatry Psychother. 2017 Apr-Jun;39(2):77-87. doi: 10.1590/2237-6089-2016-0042.

Perfectionism and negative/positive affect associations: the role of cognitive emotion regulation and perceived distress/coping.

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Departamento de Psicologia M├ędica, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.



To explore 1) if perfectionism, perceived distress/coping, and cognitive emotion regulation (CER) are associated with and predictive of negative/positive affect (NA/PA); and 2) if CER and perceived distress/coping are associated with perfectionism and if they mediate the perfectionism-NA/PA associations. There is a distinction between maladaptive and adaptive perfectionism in its association with NA/PA. CER and perceived distress/coping may mediate the maladaptive/adaptive perfectionism and NA/PA associations.


344 students (68.4% girls) completed the Hewitt & Flett and the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scales, the Composite Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, the Profile of Mood States, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire.


NA predictors were maladaptive/adaptive perfectionism, maladaptive CER and perceived distress (positively), positive reappraisal and planning, and perceived coping (negatively). PA predictors were maladaptive/adaptive perfectionism and perceived distress (negatively), positive reappraisal and planning, positive refocusing and perceived coping (positively). The association between maladaptive perfectionism and NA was mediated by maladaptive CER/low adaptive CER, perceived distress/low coping. Maladaptive perfectionism and low PA association was mediated by perceived distress. High PA was determined by low maladaptive perfectionism and this association was mediated by adaptive REC and coping. Adaptive perfectionism and NA association was mediated by maladaptive CER and perceived distress.


CER and perceived distress/coping are associated and mediate the perfectionism-NA/PA associations.

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