ERIC Number: ED430352
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Voices of Perfectionism: Perfectionistic Gifted Adolescents in a Rural Middle School.
Schuler, Patricia A.
This study investigated the characteristics of perfectionistic gifted adolescents in a rural middle school, how they perceived their perfectionism, the influences on their perfectionism, and the consequences of their perfectionist behaviors. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were employed to gather data from 20 gifted adolescents identified as having perfectionist tendencies. Findings support the multidimensional theory of perfectionism, which states that perfectionism exists on a continuum with healthy to dysfunctional behaviors. Several differences existed between the healthy perfectionists and the dysfunctional perfectionists. Health perfectionists possessed an intense need for order and organization; displayed self-acceptance of mistakes; enjoyed high parental expectations; demonstrated positive ways of coping with their perfectionist tendencies; had role models who emphasized doing one's "best"; and viewed personal effort as an important part of their perfectionism. Dysfunctional perfectionists lived in a state of anxiety about making errors; had extremely high standards; perceived excessive expectations and negative criticism; questioned their own judgments; lacked effective coping strategies; and exhibited a constant need for approval. Family, teacher, and peer influences on perfectionism were perceived as mostly positive for the healthy perfectionists, but negative for the dysfunctional perfectionist. Appendices contain the Goals and Work Habits Survey and the Empowering Gifted Behavior Scale. (Contains over 200 references.) (Author/CR)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Anxiety, Behavior Problems, Coping, Data Analysis, Emotional Disturbances, Family Influence, Gifted, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Performance Factors, Personality Traits, Rural Schools, Self Concept, Self Esteem, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Student Characteristics
The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut, 362 Fairfield Road, U-7, Storrs, CT 06026-2007; Web site: http://www.gifted.uconn.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT.