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ERIC Number: EJ837977
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-0311-6999
When a High Distinction Isn't Good Enough: A Review of Perfectionism and Self-Handicapping
Kearns, Hugh; Forbes, Angus; Gardiner, Maria; Marshall, Kelly
Australian Educational Researcher, v35 n3 p21-36 Dec 2008
This paper addresses two problems which are common amongst university students, namely perfectionism and self-handicapping. Perfectionism deals with setting unreasonably high standards for one's own performance, while self-handicapping behaviours provide a possible excuse for poor performance, for example putting tasks off until the last minute. Although they have the potential for many negative outcomes in students, such as anxiety and poor performance, university communities have done little to investigate these problems or reduce their incidence. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of perfectionism and self-handicapping, with particular reference to how they impact upon higher education students, so that universities may become more aware of these problems and their implications. We also discuss a new model, which describes a relationship between these two constructs, and suggests a method for reducing these problems in a university environment. (Contains 2 figures.)
Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE). P.O. Box 71, Coldstream, Victoria 3770, Australia. Tel: +61-0359-649-031; Fax: +61-0359-649-586; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia