Parenting Perfectionism as a Predictor of Parental Adjustment
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Series/Report no.:2011 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 25th
Perfectionism is conceptualized as the extent to which an individual holds excessively high standards for themselves, and is thought to be multi-dimensional, consisting of maladaptive and beneficial aspects. This paper aimed to examine the new construct of parenting perfectionism, defined as perfectionism specific to the parenting role, through two dimensions: self-oriented, or personal desire for perfection, and societal-oriented, or perceived societal expectations for perfection. Using longitudinal data from a sample of 182 dual-earner couples at the transition to parenthood, as part of the New Parents Project, I investigated the association between parenting perfectionism and parental adjustment. Results indicate that for mothers, societal-oriented parenting perfectionism was associated with reduced parenting self-efficacy; however, self-oriented parenting perfectionism was associated with increased satisfaction with the parenting role. For fathers, societal-oriented parenting perfectionism was associated with higher parenting stress, whereas higher levels of self-oriented parenting perfectionism were associated with increased parenting self-efficacy, less parenting stress, and more satisfaction with parenting. In sum, societal-oriented parenting perfectionism had adverse associations with early parental adjustment, whereas self-oriented parenting perfectionism had beneficial associations with parental adjustment, especially for fathers.
Poster Division: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: 3rd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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