Introduction The topic of perfectionism among adolescents is being studied throughout this investigation; specifically the adverse psychological effects it has on adolescents. Perfectionism can be defined as a personality disposition distinguished by an individual’s continuous strive for flawlessness and the setting of excessively high, and sometimes unreachable, performance standards. Perfectionists pay selective attention to their achievements, criticizing themselves too often for their failures, and undermining their successes. Overwhelmed by anxiety and fear about their future achievements and performance, they are unable to enjoy their successes in life. Perfectionists attempt to prevent themselves from experiencing embarrassment and criticism by controlling their own responses, as well as others reactions. In the case of this study, academic and social perfectionism is the topic being looked at specifically. This topic of study is relevant in the sense that it incorporates an aspect of many people’s everyday lives. It is evident that perfectionism affects a vast majority of individuals, especially in academic environments such as Bayview Secondary School. Perfectionism has become a very well documented, and studied social issue as perfectionistic traits are becoming more common among adolescents in modern society, resulting in an increase of negative psychological effects. This social issue has been heavily linked to many subfields of psychology, specifically, clinical and cognitive psychology as they look at the abnormal behaviours and mental processes of people associated with perfectionistic traits. The perfectionism construct has a long and well documented history in clinical psychology. In severe cases, perfectionism may contribute to depression. To obtain the information necessary to address this issue, the research question of “To what extent does perfectionism cause negative pressure on teens in a school environment?” has been formulated. This is to prove the hypothesis “Perfectionism causes negative pressure on teens, academically and socially, resulting in many adverse psychological effects”.Method In order to complete this study, information on the topic must be acquired, followed by a short survey. To obtain the necessary information of the research on the topic, online academic journals will be used. These sources will come from a variety of databases such as Gale. These journals and studies professionally detail the adverse psychological effects associated with perfectionism. From the information acquired from these journals, a survey was developed to retrieve the experiences people have had with negative psychological effects associated with perfectionistic traits. Firstly, the survey was created on an easily accessible online platform known as “Google Forms”, where users have the ability to create and fill out surveys. Random sampling was the method we used to acquire information from respondents. The link for the Google Forms survey was sent out to approximately 35 peers, 20 of whom completed the survey. Additionally, 10 of those 20 respondents were male, whereas the other half were female. Moreover, all 20 respondents were 16 years old. The method of research that was conducted (surveying) was believed to be the most organized, efficient, and overall best way to acquire the necessary information. To obtain this information, links to the survey were sent out on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat. The chosen target group were teenagers at Bayview Secondary School. Specifically, adolescents who were 16 years of age. Individuals 16 years of age were believed to be the best demographic to study as 16 year olds are exactly in the middle of their teenage years, considering that teenagers are aged between the ages of 13 and 19. Furthermore, researching the negative psychological effects people experience in an academic environment, specifically teens, is beneficial as the topic of this study looks at the feelings associated with adolescents as a result of perfectionistic traits. A vast variety of questions were included in the survey to help obtain a better understanding of people who experienced adverse psychological effects, and whether they were due to perfectionistic traits or not. Questions were categorized into 4 different sections. The first section were background questions asking for such as age, gender, and the school the respondent attended (in this case all of the respondents attended Bayview Secondary School). Upon completion of the first section, respondents had to complete the second section which contained general introductory questions. These questions were to obtain the respondents basic knowledge and experience associated with perfectionism. Questions such as “Would you consider yourself a perfectionist?” were asked to help understand the respondents view on perfectionism. Consecutively, questions outlining the causes of perfectionism were asked in the third section of the 17 question survey. Multiple choice questions were asked, along with true or false questions and rating questions asking respondents to rate their stance on a particular cause of perfectionistic traits on a scale of 1 to 5. Finally, the last section looked in depth at the psychological effects and depressive feelings associated with respondents who possessed perfectionistic traits. Questions were asked to better help understand how often people who possessed perfectionistic traits had experienced negative psychological effects as a result. Specific instructions were included at the beginning of the survey, outlining the date that the questionnaires must be completed by (December 22, 2017). The filled out questionnaires were accessed on Google Forms. Following this, an analysis will be done discussing the findings of the study and whether or not they align with the hypothesis. Lastly, a conclusion will be written to detail the largest findings of the study and detail future recommendations. Within the entire assignment, a reference list and appendices will be made to outline the sources that will be used and an unfilled copy of the survey along with an analysis of the collected data. The primary and secondary sources will be used to compare and contrast that of the research question and hypothesis. Annotated BibliographyBento, C., Pereira, A. T., Roque, C., Saraiva, J. M. T., & Santos, A. J. F. M. E. (2017). Longitudinal effects of an intervention on perfectionism in adolescents. Psicothema, 29(3), 317+. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A502000382/AONE?u=ko_k12hs_d73&sid=AONE&xid=3359675aIn this Portuguese study, the authors takes a closer look at the early prevention of perfectionism and its harmful effects. The main topic of this article was to assess the reduction of perfectionism, when attempted to be managed. The aim of this study was to investigate, in a large sample of adolescents, if one session to manage perfectionism has the effect of reducing the levels of this trait, two and six months later. The objective was to analyze the effect of one session to cope with perfectionism in a large, population-based sample of Portuguese adolescents. However, there is a very crucial limitation of this study that must be noted, the study was a short-term longitudinal study investigating the effect of only one session developed to reduce the harmful effects of perfectionism over a six-month interval. This article is suitable to the research as both the research that will be conducted and the article look at how perfectionism causes negative effects among adolescents. This article was particularly helpful as it proves the hypothesis to be accurate.Flett, G. L., Goldstein, A. L., Hewitt, P. L., & Wekerle, C. (2012). Predictors of deliberate self-harm behavior among emerging adolescents: an initial test of a self-punitiveness model. Current Psychology, 31(1), 49+. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A361552143/AONE?u=ko_k12hs_d73&sid=AONE&xid=4809568bIn this study, published by Current Psychology conducted by Gordon L. Flett, alongside A. L., Hewitt, P. L., & Wekerle, C. the authors takes a more in depth look into the topic of deliberate self harm and its association with dimensions of trait perfectionism such as parental criticism and socially prescribed perfectionism, as well as overgeneralization, self-criticism, and both characterological shame and bodily shame with the strongest associations found with shame. Analyses found a strong correlation between overgeneralization and shame and an association between self-criticism and shame among women specifically The study examined the extent to which a self-punitiveness model could be applied to deliberate self-harm among students making the transition to university. Specific segments of the self-punitiveness model included perfectionism, overgeneralization, self-criticism, and shame. Nonetheless, there are limitations that the author clearly states. First, and foremost, the findings and conclusions are correlational thus it cannot be ascertain that self-punitiveness causes deliberate self harm. This article will support the hypothesis and prove its accuracy, as the article discusses the detrimental psychological outcomes that are associated with perfectionism such as deliberate self harm which proves the accuracy of the hypothesis.Flett, G. L., Panico, T., & Hewitt, P. L. (2011). Perfectionism, type a behavior, and self-efficacy in depression and health symptoms among adolescents. Current Psychology, 30(2), 105+. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A362151717/AONE?u=ko_k12hs_d73&sid=AONE&xid=64d4818a Perfectionism, type a behavior, and self-efficacy, published by Current Psychology, examined the associations among dimensions of perfectionism, Type A behavior, self-efficacy, distress, and health symptoms in high school students. Furthermore, the authors looked at the extent to which self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism in adolescents are related to Type A behavior as well as the associated issue of whether perfectionism goes beyond Type A behavior in terms of the ability to predict depression and health symptoms. The purpose of their study was to assess and examine the positive association between self-oriented perfectionism and Type A behavior. However, the author clearly states that there are limitations to the current study. Firstly, the current findings are derived from a cross-sectional investigation and it is essential to examine these personality constructs in longitudinal research. Additionally, the modest sample size precluded testing for potential sex differences in the correlational results. Given suggestions that girls are more prone to distress and health problems, future tests should take sex of participant into account. This article was helpful in terms of contributing valuable information to the research. This source looks at the negative effects of perfectionism, and its relation to other behavioural, and health problems, which supports the hypothesis.Reyes, M. E. S., Layno, K. J. T., Castaneda, J. R. E., Collantes, A. A., Sigua, M. A. D., & McCutcheon, L. E. (2015). Perfectionism and its relationship to the depressive feelings of gifted Filipino adolescents. North American Journal of Psychology, 17(2), 317. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A415109092/AONE?u=ko_k12hs_d73&sid=AONE&xid=08f19a32In this article, published by the North American Journal of Psychology in August 2015, Marc Eric S. Reyes conducted his study on the demographic of gifted filipino adolescents. This article looks at the two dimensions of perfectionism (socially prescribed, and self oriented), and how perfectionism correlates to the depressive feelings of gifted Filipino adolescents. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between the two types of perfectionism amidst gifted Filipino adolescents. The author, Marc Eric S. Reyes, is clearly aware of the implications that come with the type of research he will be conducting. Depression is more commonly found in female children than male children, hence why he conducted separate analyses. This source is applicable to the research that will be conducted as the article discusses the depressive feelings associated with perfectionism, which falls under the many adverse psychological effects due to perfectionism . This source was extremely beneficial in the contribution of the research as it perfectly ties in with the topic being researched in the hypothesis. Discussion Through the findings of both primary and secondary research, it can been seen that the results support the hypothesis that perfectionists set expectations based on the pressures and expectations others inflict upon them rather than develop their own high standards and goals, resulting in negative psychological effects as a consequence. This is evident through the corroboration between secondary sources such as articles and journals, as well as the primary data collected from a survey filled out by 20 adolescents. In August, 2015, the academic article “Perfectionism and its relationship to the depressive feelings of gifted Filipino adolescents”, was published by the North American Journal of Psychology. The study was conducted by Marc Eric S. Reyes, researching the demographic of gifted filipino adolescents. This article looks at the two dimensions of perfectionism (socially prescribed, and self oriented), and how perfectionism correlates to the depressive feelings of gifted Filipino adolescents. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between the two types of perfectionism amidst gifted Filipino adolescents. The results showed that depression scores were significantly related to perfectionism in both male and female Filipino adolescents (Reyes, 2015). Therefore based off the evidence provided in this study, it is evident that there was a heavy correlation between adverse psychological effects such as depressive feelings, and perfectionistic traits. Reyes stated that perfectionism is linked with many negative psychological outcomes, and one of those possible negative psychological outcomes that can be attributed to perfectionism is depression (Reyes, 2015). The primary data collected through the means of the survey obtained very similar conclusions. When asked how often respondents felt depressed because they felt as though they could not compete with their friends academically, 35% of respondents claimed to have experienced depressive feelings due to high academic standards. An additional 35% claimed that they also experience depressive feelings due to immense academic standards, but not as frequently. The results of the survey heavily correlate with the findings of the study on depressive feelings associated with filipino adolescents. Furthermore, Reyes found perfectionism to be positively correlated to depression and that perfectionism can predict other specific symptoms, such as destructive problem-solving approaches and maladaptive relationship behaviours (Reyes, 2015). Additionally, Reyes highlighted that the gifted Filipino adolescents researched in the study, tend to work hard to avoid failures rather than challenge themselves, thus resulting in them feeling drained or depressed when encountering new challenges rather than being delighted (Reyes, 2015). Many of these findings were consistent throughout both the primary and secondary sources. In a more recent study, published by Psicothema in July 2017, the article “Longitudinal effects of an intervention on perfectionism in adolescents” takes a closer look at the early prevention of perfectionism and its harmful effects. The main topic of this article was to assess the reduction of perfectionism, when attempted to be managed. The aim of this study was to investigate, in a large sample of adolescents, if one session to manage perfectionism has the effect of reducing the levels of this trait, two and six months later. The objective was to analyze the effect of one session to cope with perfectionism in a large, population-based sample of Portuguese adolescents. For the case of this study, the development of perfectionism from an early age will be analyzed and interpreted, rather than the longitudinal effects of perfectionism. The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that the study being conducted throughout this investigation looks at the psychological effects associated with perfectionism, rather than the effects of preventing perfectionism. In order to acquire a better understanding of how these negative psychological effects are developed, childhood experiences must be carefully studied to see if they have had any affect on developing these unfavourable psychological outcomes. Childhood and adolescence experiences have been found to be a considerably extensive contributing factor to the development of perfectionistic traits among individuals (Bento, 2017). This finding is extremely consistent with the results of the primary data. Approximately 95% of respondents believed that perfectionism is learned, contrary to the 5% who believed it was exclusively genetically inherited. Additionally, 95% of respondents claimed that their childhood experiences have had an affect on their will and determination to achieve highly today. Definitively, it is evident that throughout numerous studies, samples, and findings, childhood experiences have had an effect on the development of perfectionistic traits among perfectionist adolescents, resulting in many negative cognitive effects. Conclusively, based on the consistent evidence and findings provided in both the secondary and primary sources, it is indisputable that childhood experiences can be regarded as an immense factor to the development of perfectionistic traits. Perfectionism has been well documented as a behavioural disorder throughout many decades. The behavioural disorder has been directly correlated with depressive feelings that result from it. These depressive feelings caused by the fear of not living up to desirable social and/or academic expectation may result in deliberate self harm among adolescents. In 2012, Current Psychology published the study, Perfectionism, type a behavior, and self-efficacy in depression and health symptoms among adolescents, conducted by Gordon L. Flett, alongside A. L., Hewitt, P. L., & Wekerle, C, taking a closer look at the topic of deliberate self harm and its association with dimensions of trait perfectionism such as parental criticism and socially prescribed perfectionism, as well as overgeneralization, self-criticism, and both characterological shame and bodily shame with the strongest associations found with shame. Analyses found a strong correlation between overgeneralization and shame and an association between self-criticism and shame among women specifically. The study examined the extent to which a self-punitiveness model could be applied to deliberate self-harm among students making the transition to university. Specific segments of the self-punitiveness model included perfectionism, overgeneralization, self-criticism, and shame. The model was used to help determine the extent to which adolescents, making the transition into university, experienced traits associated with social and academic perfectionism, thus causing depressive feelings which leads to deliberate self harm as a result. The survey results showed that 65% of survey respondents had experienced some form of depression in the past semester due to the shortcoming of their goals. While it is tempting to conclude that perfectionism may be more relevant to suicide ideation and suicidal tendencies rather than to deliberate self harm, two dimensions of perfectionism (socially prescribed perfectionism and parental criticism) were associated with deliberate self harm in Flett’s study (Flett, 2012). It is also possible that perfectionism needs to be examined and interpreted within the context of particular stressors, in keeping with accounts of the various ways that perfectionism is linked with psychological distress (Flett, 2012). The data obtained from the responses of the survey concluded that approximately 95% of respondents felt as though their peers, parents/guardians, and teachers expect unreasonably high and academic performance. The study is continuously consistent with the findings in the primary data. 85% of the survey respondents agreed with the phrase “I often want to please my parents, live up to their expectations, and make them proud.” Based on the correlation between the study conducted by Gordon Flett, and the primary data, it is evident that socially prescribed perfectionism heavily ties in with the expectations, standards, and criticism that parents force upon their children in adolescent years. As a result, the studies found a strong correlation between deliberate self harm and socially prescribed perfectionism combined with substantial parental criticism. Perfectionism, type a behavior, and self-efficacy, published by Current Psychology in 2011, examined the associations among perfectionism, Type A behavior, self-efficacy, distress, and health symptoms in adolescents. Moreover, the authors looked at the extent to which self-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism in adolescents are related to Type A behavior as well as the associated issue of whether perfectionism goes beyond Type A behavior in terms of the ability to predict depression and health symptoms. The purpose of their study was to assess and examine the positive association between self-oriented perfectionism and Type A behavior.
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