By Sarah J. Egan PhD, Tracey D. Wade PhD, Roz Shafran PhD, Martin M. Antony PhD ABPP FRSC
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Extra resources for Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Perfectionism
While there are a range of studies that show perfectionism is elevated in people with MDD, those showing that perfectionism can predict the later development of depression are much more convincing than these data with respect to a possible causal relationship. , depression). Longitudinal studies, on the other hand, provide better evidence, and there are several studies that do provide evidence in large samples of people with major depression that perfectionism predicts the development of depression.
There were two participants, however, who changed diagnostic status, no longer meeting criteria for depression at posttreatment. Although these results suggest some efficacy of treatment, few generalizations can be made from the study as the sample size was very small (n = 3), and there was only a short follow-up period of 3 weeks posttreatment. There are only two studies that have reported on group CBT for clinical perfectionism with adequate sample sizes. In the first study, Steele et al. (2013) reported on the treatment of 21 participants across two sites who received an 8-week CBT group program using a structured protocol based on the CBT self-help book Overcoming Perfectionism (Shafran, Egan, & Wade, 2010).
A study of 433 “trios” (a female with anorexia nervosa or “proband” and her mother and father) found that the most severe disordered eating in the proband (24% of the sample) was associated with mothers who also had elevations on eating disorder symptoms and anxious/perfectionistic traits (M. J. , 2009). Elevated ratings on maternal perfectionism may not indicate perfectionistic pressures from the mother, but may rather indicate a genetic susceptibility that results in a more homogeneous and familial variant of anorexia nervosa.