21 May 2018

Perfectionism on the Increase

More than a desire to 'always do our best', perfectionism is "a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations". It leads to increased pressure and reduced likelihood of being able to achieve life satisfaction.

A recent study suggests that perfectionism is on the rise and that millennials are the generation most predisposed to perfectionism, leading to a level of pressure that impacts wellbeing.

The authors suggest three types of perfectionism: self-orientated, socially prescribed, and other-oriented. The authors noted the impact of general culture change as well as the important influence of social media (especially with regard to anxiety about body image and social isolation).

Thomas Curran from the University of Bath (the study's lead author) noted that "meritocracy places a strong need for young people to strive, perform, and achieve in modern life", and observed that "young people are responding by reporting increasingly unrealistic educational and professional expectations for themselves. As a result, perfectionism is rising among millennials."

Ms Shauna Lipscombe
School Psychologist