Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology


Department of Psychology


The purpose o f this study was to examine the relation between perfectionism and depression, and the role of achievement motivation in mediating that link. The participants were 94 males and 124 females from the University of Dayton who were fulfilling course requirements for an introductory psychology class. Three self-report paper-and-pencil inventories were administered, the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS) to determine participants’ levels of perfectionism, the Cassidy and Lynn Achievement Motivation Questionnaire (CLAMQ) to assess their levels of achievement motivation, and the Costello-Comrey Depression Scale (CCDS) to ascertain their proneness to depression. The results indicated that self-oriented perfectionism and other-oriented perfectionism were significantly correlated with overall achievement motivation (r = .54, p = .0001 and r = .36, p = .0001, respectively). Simultaneous regressions revealed that socially prescribed perfectionism was significantly positively related to depression proneness (r = .53, p = .0001) and self-oriented perfectionism was significantly negatively related to depression proneness (r = -.27, p = .003), as was achievement motivation (r = - .30, p = .0001). Achievement motivation was found to mediate the link between self oriented perfectionism and depression proneness; the previously significant negative relation between self-oriented perfectionism and depression (p = .003) was no longer significant (p = .382) when the effect o f achievement motivation was eliminated. The canonical correlation between the perfectionism factors (MPS) and the achievement motivation factors (CLAMQ) was significant with multiple dimensions. The canonical correlations were; first dimension, R = .62, p < .001; second dimension, R = .36, p < .001; and third dimension, R = .27, p < .007. Results from the current study provide support for Homey’s (1950) contention that perfectionists typically are highly motivated to achieve. The results indicate that higher levels o f achievement motivation may serve as a buffer against depression in persons who tend to be perfectionistic. These results also support previous findings relating perfectionism variables to depression. Individuals who perceive a need to attain unrealistically high standards to meet expectations prescribed by significant others are more likely to become depressed.


Perfectionism (Personality trait) Ohio Dayton, Depression, Mental Ohio Dayton, Achievement motivation Ohio Dayton

Rights Statement

Copyright 1998, author