The roles of perceived parental expectation and criticism in adolescents’ multidimensional perfectionism and achievement goals

Nir Madjar, Marina Voltsis, Michael P. Weinstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Perfectionism consists of personal predispositions and attitudes toward performance. Although there is some disagreement in the field regarding how to best define and measure perfectionism, most studies have supported a distinction between adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism. The current study examines a model in which students’ perceptions of parents’ standards and criticism are proposed as antecedents of multidimensional perfectionism, which in turn are hypothesised to be associated with types of academic achievement goal orientations. The sample consisted of 256 high school students who completed questionnaires assessing adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism, perceptions of their parents and personal achievement goals. Structural equation modelling supported the hypotheses suggesting that high parental standards are positively associated with the adaptive perfectionist characteristic of self-organised perception, which in turn are associated with a mastery goal orientation. Parental criticism predicted the maladaptive perfectionist characteristic of concern over mistakes, which in turn was found associated with a performance-avoidance goal orientation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-778
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number6
Early online date3 Dec 2013
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The participants completed surveys in their classes during normal class hours. A graduate student and a research assistant were present in the classroom supervising the entire session. All participants were instructed to refer to their history class when filling out the questionnaires, and the instructions were identical in all classes. Participation was anonymous and voluntary, and the study was approved by the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Education. The completion of the surveys took approximately 30 min. Twelve questionnaires were not included in the study due to incomplete responses to the survey (out of 268 in total).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Taylor & Francis.


  • Perfectionism
  • achievement goal orientations
  • structural equation modelling


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