socially prescribed perfectionism, university students, intrinsic motivation, procrastination, mental health


Socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP) can lead to increased rates of dropout among university students. Perfectionistic expectations can create chronic stress and various negative emotions, which can lead to mental health problems. In addition, students with SPP may feel a strong obligation to pursue higher education and may therefore be less intrinsically motivated to learn, placing more importance on obtaining high grades than on learning. Unfortunately, this prioritization of grades over learning may also increase the risk of cheating among these students. Procrastination of homework and avoidance of situations that can expose their imperfections to others may impact these students’ performance in their schooling as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy may help students to manage the black-and-white thinking that is often associated with perfectionism. University counseling centers should be prepared to help students with SPP develop unconditional self-acceptance to mitigate its negative effects.

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