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25 mei 2018: Perfectionisme en Mindfulness | Publiekslezing in Gent

Perfectionism is increasing over time: A meta-analysis of birth cohort differences from 1989 to 2016 | Thomas Curran, Dr.


Vrijdag 25 mei, 10u00


Auditorium 4,

Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent

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Sectie ontwikkelingspsychologie (UGent)

Bart Soenens, Wim Beyers,

Maarten Vansteenkiste

From the 1980’s onwards, neoliberal governance in the US, Canada, and the UK has emphasized competitive individualism and people have seemingly responded, in kind, by agitating to perfect themselves and their lifestyles.

In this presentation, Thomas Curran addresses the question whether cultural changes have coincided with an increase in multidimensional perfectionism in college students over the last 27 years.

"Our analyses are based on 164 samples and 41,641 American, Canadian, and British college students, who completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Hewitt & Flett, 1991) between 1989 and 2016 (70.92% female, Mage = 20.66).

Cross-temporal meta-analysis revealed that levels of self-oriented perfectionism, socially prescribed perfectionism, and other-oriented perfectionism have linearly increased. These trends remained when controlling for gender and between-country differences in perfectionism scores.

Overall, in order of magnitude of the observed increase, our findings indicate that recent generations of young people perceive that others are more demanding of them, are more demanding of others, and are more demanding of themselves. Directions for future research will be discussed."


Tom Curran>> (article>>) is an Assistant Professor in the Department for Health at the University of Bath. His area of expertise is the personality characteristic of perfectionism, how it develops, and how it impacts on mental health. He has published over 20 articles or book chapters on these and related topics. His most notable work to date centres on the theory of cultural influences on perfectionism. This talk will present data collated from over 26 years, showing how perfectionism has increased substantially over time among young people. Against a backdrop of elevated metal ill-health, he’ll explore how and why perfectionism became today’s hidden epidemic.

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