Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology



First Advisor

Philip Wong

Committee Chair and Members

Philip Wong, Chair

Sara Haden

Matthew Morrison


Emotion regulation, Failure, Mindfulness, Perfectionism, Psychology, Self-esteem


The aim of the present study was to investigate the use of emotion regulation strategies among adaptive and maladaptive perfectionists and determine if there are differences. It proposed a model that maladaptive perfectionists experience heightened negative affect in response to their perceived deficiencies, and that both self-esteem and mindfulness contribute to emotion regulation strategy choice. A sample of 336 participants, ages 18 and older, completed online self-report measures related to perfectionism, self-esteem, mindfulness, current affect, and emotion regulation strategy choice, along with a manipulated failure task. Results showed that after a perceived failure, maladaptive perfectionists had lower odds of choosing adaptive emotion regulation strategies than adaptive perfectionists did, and were more likely to use maladaptive strategies; and, conversely, adaptive perfectionists had lower odds of choosing maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, and were more likely to use adaptive ones. However, neither self-esteem, or mindfulness, contributed to this proposed model. This study demonstrates that after being confronted with failure, maladaptive perfectionists engage in emotion regulation strategies that are considered maladaptive as opposed to adaptive perfectionists, adding to the literature that supports a multidimensional view of perfectionism, and that some dimensions can be considered maladaptive.