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Lower secondary school’s students’ perfectionism relationship with academic performance and creative thinking

Dimitrios Karatzanos, Dimitrios Zbainos

Department of Home Economics and Ecology, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece


Perfectionism is described as the setting of excessively high standards or expectations regarding one's own performance which may lead to adaptive or maladaptive behaviors. Adaptive perfectionism has been shown to be positively linked to academic performance, while the opposite is the case for maladaptive perfectionism. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationships between perfectionism, creativity, and academic performance among Greek young adolescents. Two hundred and eighty-two students with average age of 13.7 years filled in a Greek version of the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R) and completed the figural tasks of Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). In addition, students’ school grades in the school subjects of Modern Greek and Mathematics were used as an indication of their academic performance. The results, in general, showed non-significant correlations between the cognitive processes of creativity (originality, fluency, flexibility, and elaboration) and school grades, as well as perfectionistic behaviors and creativity. However, perfectionism seemed to be related with grades in Mathematics and Modern Greek and both types of perfectionism appeared to predict academic performance. Adaptive perfectionists displayed, in general, significantly higher academic performances and higher accuracy in the elaboration subscale of TTCT, which includes school-like activities. Overall, the results demonstrated that adaptive perfectionism has a positive relationship with academic performance of young adolescents, yet not on creativity. This is an indication that adaptive perfectionists direct their efforts mainly to goals that are valued by the school culture.

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