THE RELATIONSHIP OF PERFECTIONISM TO ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT, SELF-ESTEEM, DEPRESSION, AND RACIAL IDENTITY IN AFRICAN AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS ATTENDING PREDOMINANTLY WHITE UNIVERSITIES

Open Access
Author:
Elion, Audrey A.
Graduate Program:
Counseling Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
March 09, 2007
Committee Members:
  • Robert B Slaney, Committee Chair
  • Patricia Herr, Committee Member
  • Beverly Vandiver, Committee Member
  • James B Stewart, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • academic achievement
  • depression
  • self-esteem
  • racial identity
  • perfectionism
  • African Americans
Abstract:
ABSTRACT This study examined 253 African American college students on the constructs of perfectionism, academic achievement, self-esteem, depression, and racial identity. Cluster analysis was performed using the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R). The results of the cluster analysis yielded 3 clusters that represented adaptive perfectionists, maladaptive perfectionists, and non-perfectionists. These three groups were compared on their scores of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE), the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D), and the Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS). The findings showed that the APS-R is a valuable tool for investigating perfectionism among African American students at majority White universities. Adaptive perfectionists performed at a higher level than maladaptive perfectionists as evidenced by GPAs. In addition, adaptive perfectionists had higher self-esteem scores than both the non-perfectionists and maladaptive perfectionists. Maladaptive perfectionists had higher levels of depression than adaptive perfectionists. Maladaptive perfectionists also were found to have higher scores in Pre-Encounter Self Hatred than adaptive perfectionists and lower scores in Internalization Multiculturalist Inclusive than adaptive perfectionists. The study also focused on the current research findings for each scale, especially their validity and relevance to intercultural differences among groups. The limitations and strengths of this research are discussed and integrated. Finally, recommendations for further studies on these measures are suggested, particularly in relation to the utility of this research for African American college students.