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ISSN : 2233-6710(Print)
ISSN : 2384-2121(Online)
Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling Vol.1 No.1 pp.77-92

Cognitive Schemas as Mediators in the Relationship Between Perfectionism and Psychological Distress

Donghyuck Lee, F. Donald Kelly

Florida State University
Received November 18, 2010, Revision received January 27, 2011, Accepted February 14, 2011


This study examined the indirect effects of maladaptive cognitive schemas on the relationship between sociallyprescribed perfectionism and psychological distress in the forms of depression and anxiety. A total of 249 collegestudents completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Hewitt &Flett, 1991), the Schema Questionnaire-ShortForm (Young, 1990), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (Radloff, 1977), and the State-TraitAnxiety Scale (Spielberger, 1983). The results indicated that certain maladaptive cognitive schemas significantlymediate the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism and psychological distress. Specifically, fear ofabandonment and subjugation, are significant mediators of the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionismand depression. Meanwhile, the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism and anxiety is mediated by fearof abandonment, mistrust/abuse, and vulnerability to harm. These results suggest that socially prescribed perfectionistsmay be vulnerable to depression and anxiety due to their maladaptive cognitive schemas.