University of Oulu

Kia Gluschkoff, Marko Elovainio, Mirka Hintsanen, Sari Mullola, Laura Pulkki-Råback, Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, Taina Hintsa, Perfectionism and depressive symptoms: The effects of psychological detachment from work, Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 116, 2017, Pages 186-190, ISSN 0191-8869,

Perfectionism and depressive symptoms : the effects of psychological detachment from work

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Author: Gluschkoff, Kia1; Elovainio, Marko1; Hintsanen, Mirka2;
Organizations: 1Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Unit of Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2020-03-26


We examined the association of perfectionism with depressive symptoms and tested whether psychological detachment from work would both mediate and moderate the association. The participants were 76 primary school teachers (87% female) who responded to measures of perfectionism (Multidimensional Inventory on Perfectionism in Sports adapted for teachers), psychological detachment from work (The Recovery Experience Questionnaire), and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-II). Perfectionism comprised both adaptive and maladaptive dimensions. Adaptive perfectionism referred to striving for perfection, whereas maladaptive perfectionism involved negative reactions to imperfection and perceived pressure to be perfect. According to our results, negative reactions to imperfection were associated with higher depressive symptoms, and lower level of psychological detachment from work played a minor mediating role in the association. There was, however, no association between negative reactions to imperfection and higher depressive symptoms when detachment from work was high. Our findings suggest that striving for perfection and perceived pressure to be perfect might not contribute to depressive symptoms in teaching. Instead, teachers experiencing negative reactions to imperfection and low psychological detachment from work could be at risk for developing depressive symptoms. Finding ways to psychologically detach from work may benefit teachers characterized by negative reactions to imperfection.

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Series: Personality and individual differences
ISSN: 0191-8869
ISSN-E: 1873-3549
ISSN-L: 0191-8869
Volume: 116
Pages: 186 - 190
DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2017.04.044
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
516 Educational sciences
Funding: This research was supported by the Kone Foundation (K.G., S.M., and T.H.) and the Academy of Finland (project 1297520, S.M. and project 258711, L.K.-J.).
Copyright information: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license