High demands to be "perfect" may threaten adolescents’ health. However, we have limited knowledge about the number of adolescents experiencing high demands, what characterizes the adolescents who are coping positively with demands and expectations, what characterizes those who experiences these demands as stressful and distressing, and which protective factors may be present. The main purpose of this study is to contribute with more knowledge about perfectionism and mental health among adolescents and adolescents’ subjective experiences with perfectionism, which can form the necessary basis for the development of health promoting programs and measures in different school settings.
Too perfect to be healthy?
1) To provide more knowledge about perfectionism ("perfectionistic concerns" and "perfectionistic strivings") among adolescents in lower secondary schools, how perfectionism is associated with protective factors, school settings, resilience, motivation and self-perception, and indications of body dissatisfaction, anxiety and depression. 2) To contribute to a broader understanding of adolescents' positive and negative experiences with perfectionism, and includes their subjective experiences and how they cope with performance requirements and expectations. The goal is to provide the necessary knowledge for the development of health promoting programs and measures in different school settings and for youth performance groups.
Part 1 has a cross-sectional design. Adolescents in 8.th grade (spring 2016) are recruited from specialized lower secondary schools for sports and performing arts (classical ballet and music) and are compared with adolescents in ordinary lower secondary schools in the region of Oslo & Akershus counties.
(Also, a prospective data collection 2 years later will be included if accepted by The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Science Research Ethics (REC). The application will be sent in May 2017.
Part 2 has a qualitative design. Adolescents from part 1 of the study will be recruited and interviewed about their experiences with perfectionism and how they cope with demands and expectations. The interviews will be conducted during spring 2017.
The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Science Research Ethics in Southern Norway have approved the study (part I (questionnaire study) and part II (qualitative interview) (Project number: 2015/1358).