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A meta-analysis of parental multidimensional perfectionism and child psychological outcomes

Lilley, Catherine; Sirois, Fuschia; Rowse, Georgina


Catherine Lilley

Georgina Rowse


Multidimensional perfectionism is a vulnerability factor for poor individual psychological well-being. Less is known about how parental perfectionism is associated with risk for poor child psychological outcomes. The aim of the current meta-analysis was to summarise the nature and magnitude of the association between dimensions of parental perfectionism (perfectionistic concerns; PC or perfectionistic strivings; PS) and child psychological outcomes. Fourteen studies (N = 2721) met inclusion criteria. The random effects meta-analysis revealed a small, significant, and positive average association between parental PC and child distress when unadjusted, ravg = 0.153, CI [0.08, 0.22], and when accounting for the contributions of parental PS, ravg = 0.164, CI [0.08, 0.25]. Moderation analysis of the unadjusted effects found that they varied as a function of the perfectionism scale used, but were robust to differences in parent and child gender. For parental PS, there was a non-significant negative average association with child distress, ravg = −0.049, CI [−0.13, 0.04], which was significant after accounting for the contributions of parental PC, ravg = −0.084, CI [−0.15, −0.02]. The current findings suggest that the differential links of perfectionism dimensions with psychological well-being extend to the parent-child relationship, and that parental PC creates vulnerability for child distress.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 20, 2020
Publication Date Aug 1, 2020
Deposit Date Jul 4, 2022
Journal Personality and Individual Differences
Print ISSN 0191-8869
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 162
Public URL