Open Access
Ortega, Norma Elizabeth
Graduate Program:
Counseling Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
March 03, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Jeffrey Hayes, Dissertation Advisor
  • Lisa M Conyers, Committee Member
  • Jeffrey Hayes, Committee Chair
  • Dennis Edward Heitzmann, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • perfectionism
  • family perfectionism
  • Latinos
This study examined the relationship between individual and family perfectionism and mental health functioning among two hundred and seven Latino college students. One aim of this study was to test the factor structure of the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R; Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001) with Latino college students by conducting a confirmatory factor analysis utilizing APS-R scores. Another aim of this study was to examine the relevance of the construct of family perfectionism among Latino college students by performing an exploratory factor analysis on the Almost Perfect Scale-Family (APS-F; Methikalam, Slaney, & Wang, 2005), a scale used to measure perceived family perfectionism. An examination of the underlying factors of the APS-R, and the associations between the scale’s subscales and the dependent variables of the study, depression, anxiety and self-esteem suggest that the APS-R is a valid measure of perfectionism among Latino college students. The results of this study also provided support for the psychometric properties of the APS-F with Latino college students. Of interest was that the Family Discrepancy subscale of the APS-F, which measures an individual’s perceptions that he or she is failing to meet the high standards set by his or her family, was significantly and positively associated with depression and anxiety, and negatively associated with self-esteem. This study also investigated the differences between adaptive perfectionists, maladaptive perfectionists, and non-perfectionists on the variables of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. A two stage cluster analysis consisting of a hierarchical and a nonhierarchical analysis was conducted utilizing APS-R scores to determine perfectionism clusters based on individual perfectionism. To further investigate family perfectionism and to identify perfectionist groups based on family perfectionism, the same process of conducting a cluster analysis was performed utilizing APS-F scores. For both cluster analyses, three groups of perfectionists were identified: adaptive perfectionists, maladaptive perfectionists and non-perfectionists. MANOVAs assessed if there were significant differences between perfectionism clusters on the variables of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Consistent with the results of previous studies, individual maladaptive perfectionists reported significantly higher scores on depression and anxiety and significantly lower self-esteem compared to the individual adaptive perfectionists. However, individual maladaptive perfectionists were not significantly different from the individual non-perfectionists on the measures of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. With regards to family perfectionism clusters, there were no significant differences between maladaptive perfectionists family, adaptive perfectionists family, and non-perfectionists family on the dependent variables of depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Several interpretations based on the results were offered highlighting the importance of familism and acculturation due to the relevance of these cultural variables among Latinos. The clinical implications based on these findings were discussed, and suggestions for future research were provided.