Introducing Perfectionistic Climate

Andrew P. Hill*, Michael C. Grugan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Perfectionism has historically been conceptualized as a personality characteristic—a personal quality of the individual. In this paper, we propose a new conceptualization of perfectionism that focuses on aspects of the social environment that are perfectionistic. Based upon motivational theory, we consider perfectionistic climate to be informational cues and goal structures aligned with the view that performances must be perfect, and less than perfect
performances are unacceptable. Perfectionistic climate has five components: expectation, criticism, control, conditional regard, and anxiousness. We define and describe each of these components and highlight the similarities and differences between these and existing concepts. We also draw on research that has examined similar concepts to inform our speculation on the possible consequences of perfectionistic climates for the development of perfectionism and its role in intervention work. We believe that the study of perfectionistic climate has the potential to extend perfectionism research considerably and highlight how people can still suffer the consequences of perfectionism through the environment without ever fully internalizing the personal quality themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-275
Number of pages13
JournalPerspectives on Early Childhood Psychology and Education
Volume4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

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