Term of Award
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (open access)
Department of Psychology
Committee Member 1
C. Thresa Yancey
Committee Member 2
Current research on eating disorders identifies a close correlation with perfectionism. However, little is understood about the complexities of this relationship, and some studies have demonstrated a stronger relationship between these variables when compared to others. This research sought to investigate the role of stress, in particular adverse life events, as a mediator in order to more robustly explain the relationship between eating disorder features and self-evaluative perfectionism, a higher order component of perfectionism consisting of concern over mistakes, need for approval, rumination, and perceived parental pressure. Three hundred and five college women volunteered to complete a series of self-report surveys online. Participants completed the Perfectionism Inventory, Inventory of College Students’ Recent Life Experiences, Eating Attitudes Test-26, Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire 6.0, and the Body Shape Questionnaire. Results suggest European Americans report higher levels of self-evaluative perfectionism as well as eating disorder symptoms as compared to their African American peers. Consistent with expectation, bivariate correlations revealed that eating disorder symptoms were positively related to self-evaluative perfectionism and adverse life events. Adverse life events mediated the relationship between self-evaluative perfectionism and eating disorder pathology. The clinical implications of these findings are explored in the context of cognitive-behavioral interventions.
Mello, Sarah A., "Perfectionism and Eating Disordered Psychopathology: Examination Through a Stress Generation Perspective" (2016). Electronic Theses & Dissertations. 1425.