An examination of emotion dysregulation in maladaptive perfectionism
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Maladaptive perfectionism has been shown to be associated with undesirable outcomes, such as elevated negative emotions and psychopathological traits. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is preliminary evidence that maladaptive perfectionism is also related to emotion dysregulation. However, the nature of emotion dysregulation in perfectionism has not been characterized. In this review, Gross and Jazaieri's (2014) clinically-informed framework of emotion dysregulation is used to review the evidence of emotion dysregulation in maladaptive perfectionism. Specifically, this paper reviews evidence of problematic emotional experiences and unhelpful emotion regulation strategies in maladaptive perfectionism and discusses how poor emotional awareness and emotion regulation goals may also contribute to emotion dysregulation. A conceptual model of these components of emotion dysregulation in maladaptive perfectionism is proposed in which heightened negative affect in response to threatened perfectionistic standards is posited to be at the core of emotion dysregulation, and implicit and explicit unhelpful emotion regulation strategies and poor emotion regulation goals are suggested to contribute to further dysregulation and elevated negative affect. Clinical implications, limitations in the extant research, and future directions are discussed.
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