Perfectionism, academic performance, and proneness to depression in students at a South African university

Madi, Asanda
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This current study aimed to investigate the nature of the relationships between aspects of perfectionism and academic performance in students from a South African university. The study attempted to ascertain whether various aspects of perfectionism predicted academic performance. The study likewise sought to establish whether the relationship between perfectionism and academic performance was moderated by proneness to depression. The study was envisaged to add theoretical clarity and direction in establishing the possible role played by various aspects of perfectionism in academic performance, and whether the nature of the relationships between various aspects of perfectionism and academic performance differed based on proneness to depression. This is important as behavioural patterns within varying personality structures can subsequently influence academic success, as outlined in the literature (O’Connor & Paunonen, 2007). Thus, this study has potential implications for universities, lecturers, and policy makers in the formulation of curricula and likewise accommodating individuals with various needs and personality types. This study could help to inform lecturers about who will perform exceptionally well in class and who might possibly struggle. Keywords: academic performance, perfectionism, proneness to depression, university students.
A research project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Clinical Psychology in the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, November 2018